Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways, is portrayed in masks as having two faces, each pointing in the opposite direction. Liars and traitors are sometimes described as being Janus-faced because one is never sure which is the true face. Like the mask, this work is divided into two opposing sections. The first half of the work is an aggressive Allegro in which a series of increasingly powerful climaxes which finally explode and extinguish
themselves in a furious culmination. The second half of the work, marked Lento desolato, is an incredibly slow and tortured progression. The work ends with a huge build toward a somewhat triumphant note, indicating a new beginning beyond the next gate. Janus Mask is a winner of the ASCAP Foundation/Rudolph Nissim award.