Whirlwind is based on motives derived from a mixture of the Lydian and Mixolydian modes using the lower pentachord of the Lydian scale and the upper quadrachord of the Mixolydian scale.
The work is virtually perpetual motion driven by continuous 16th notes. The motion is interrupted a couple times within the course of the piece, but hints of the 16th note motion still remain. After the introduction ad the initial statement of the three motives, the piece continually alternates and develops the motives in a sort of Baroque “Fortspinnung” manner. The motion drives to a grand moment where Motive 2 is stated in a grandioso style at measure 174. A sweet reminiscence of Motive 3 follows and segues into a rousing coda.