This inventive work (oboes, clarinets, horns, bassoons, plus opt. contrabassoon) was originally written for the Empire Brass Quintet, and it's title refers to the ensemble's name and to the nature of the piece, which brings a contrapuntal motivic approach to the ragtime idiom. There are ten versions of this work for various instrument combinations, including full orchestra (recorded on New World Records). The octet version was composed for Steve Richman, who premiered it with the Harmonie Ensemble in New York. The composer on this work, "It may be loosely described as the kind of piece that Mahler may have written had he been a ragtime composer, for there is a quotation from the "Resurrection Symphony" in the solemn mid-section."