Cantabile takes inspiration from the classic film music of Hollywood’s Golden age. Lush string chords, jazz harmonies, and expressive rubato all support a brief introduction followed by a flowing melody first introduced by the violins. The melody is centered around E-flat major but frequently modulates away using transposed sequences. The middle section develops material both from the introduction and the melody, first building tension by sequencing the melody against a B pedal in the bass. The rest of the section travels through different key centers and tempi before arriving at the climax which is a triumphant return of the opening material. The third section closes the piece with a recap of the melody this time played by the violas with the violins providing a shimmering, chordal counterpoint. The music swells one last time before reaching the piece’s quiet ending in E-flat major.