TWO PIECES FOR CORDELIA (1996-7)
Duration: 3½ minutes
Cordelia for whom the Angels Dance; The Blue Star
Programme note These two pieces were commissioned by Cordelia Williams, who premiered the first of them at her eighth birthday piano recital on 7 July 1996. I was asked if I could reassure Cordelia by reconciling through music the tragic story of Shakespeare’s Cordelia. In this respect, Cordelia for whom the Angels Dance is not a tragic or sad piece: it is a dance for Shakespeare’s pure-hearted Cordelia, and for the young artist who commissioned the piece. Underneath some decorative passages in small notes, this piece is melodic, not unlike calligraphic curves which must flow and be connected. Blue stars are the youngest and hottest of the stars in the universe. On attending an exhibition of astronomical photography, I felt a connection between the brightness and energy of the blue stars and the talented young Cordelia Williams. The Blue Star is also a study in pedal, indicated by tying bass notes, sometimes with open ties, rather than by constantly indicating ‘Ped.’. This leaves more to the player’s initiative, and allows for different pianos and acoustics. It also lets the score show harmonic mixing of sounds more clearly.