The composition was commissioned by Nadia Boulanger for the purpose of a course taught by Yehudi Menuhin in 1954 in Fontainebleau. At the same time, the composer created a piano reduction. It is worth noting that the course also included works by Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, Henri Dutilleux, and Igor Stravinsky.
The 'little tale', as Spisak described the work, consists of two episodes, the mysterious and, at times, sombre Andante and the vivacious Allegro which follows it. Boulanger rated this work so highly that she herself conducted its first public perfomance on 16th November 1954.