• pf
  • 12 min

Programme Note

Homages to Grieg, Janacek, Schubert and Ravel. Commissioned by Ivana Gavric, previously known as Lyric Pieces.

Contemplation and In the Dew premiered by Ivana Gavric at the Wigmore Hall on the 28th November 2013.

Contemplation is a meditation on a few bars from the second movement of Grieg's Sonata op.7 (bars 17-20). I was very taken by these bars, which to me seemed typically 'Griegian': the e minor chord with the added c sharp, and dominant minor chords. The piece was written in a matter of hours, and I simply elaborated upon Grieg's chords, feeling my way on the piano as I wrote. '

In the Dew was inspired by the third of Janacek's In the Mists as well as his Piano Sonata. Much of the harmonic material comes from the former, and some of the melodic motives from the latter. The piece was written to be performed after the Sonata and I wanted to write something that would be contrasting in mood, and something of a palette cleanser after the sombre ending of Janacek's work. Although the title is partly tongue-in-cheek, when I was played thepiece through myself, the image of twinkling dew came to mind, and the title also acknowledges the 'miniature' nature of this work.

Ivana asked that the Schubert homage be based on his A major sonata D664: I was delighted about this as I spent a long time learning the second movement of this sonata as a child (and the last bar of my piece is a very clear homage to the first bar of this movement). Lullaby aims to invoke the serene quality of Schubert's slow movement.

Finally, Un Canard hors de l'eau (A duck out of water) is an unashamedly flashy piece to finish, inspired by Ravel's Une Barque sur l'Ocean and Alborada. The piece steals many of Ravel's chords and rhythms hook line and sinker, but juxtaposes them in way which I hope sounds both new and old at the same time.

© Cheryl Frances-Hoad, 2015