• Martin Dalby
  • Songs my Mother Taught Me (1986)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Paragon Ensemble with financial help from the Scottish Arts Council

  • fl(picc) ob clt bclt hn bsn
  • 20 min

Programme Note

Martin Dalby: Songs My Mother Taught Me (1986)

The title is of course stolen - from Dvorak. Perhaps, therefore, the title should always appear within inverted commas. Not much else, I hope, in this Caprice for Wind Sextet is stolen. The "songs" are my own. They are neither nostalgic nor quotations. The models from which they are derived are clearly identifiable, as are the composers from whose language they have been derived.

The piece appears to be in one movement though it is in fact two with a coda. The first is French in style, a sort of Waltz. It is quick and harks upon the likes of Françaix and where its idiom becomes more advanced, Messaien. The other is Germanic, a slow movement with echoes of German expressionism - perhaps Richard Strauss, perhaps Mahler. The two movements are partly complete; the cod reconciles their differences and completes them. I see the piece as my own version of En blanc et noir.

Songs My Mother Taught Me was commissioned by the Paragon Ensemble. The Scottish Arts Council contributed a proportion of the commission fee and the Ensemble and the composer are grateful for it.

Two of my close friends, Christine and Andrew Lang have gratifyingly taken an interest in my music. They despair about the lack of melody in it. They have inspired me to write a piece about "tunes" and so, to them is this piece dedicated.

© Martin Dalby