A DANCE FOR DAVID (1998 )
Duration: 1½ minutes
Programme notes My musical colleague and friend Helen Kasztelan requested a piano duet that she could eventually play with her recently-born son David. She also asked if some Latvian folksong could be woven into the musical tapestry, reflecting the rich Latvian culture passed to them both through Helen’s mother. Most duets for adult and child have the child playing the prima part. Musically it suited me to reverse this, especially as I’ve noticed that children rarely enjoy practising a high isolated prima part. Here they can enjoy the most resonant part of the piano. The piece centres on the life of young David. To the opening rhythm of the heart is added the first prima part entry, the dancing of the blood. David’s heritage is reflected by two Latvian folk melodies. The first, at bar 31, is a variation on a christening song; the second, at bar 56, is a cradle song whose accompaniment suggests the stars and David’s celestial origins. Finally the child falls asleep, peaceful and reassured.