Taken from the Spanish word ‘Alborada’, Aubade (dawn) references Ravel’s great work Alborada del Gracioso. Opening with slow lyrical section the mood ranges between languid and energetic, contrasting the opening material with characterful Allegro sections. Originally composed for clarinet and piano, the piece was later orchestrated for Frank Gurr, at that time principal clarinet of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Cascade on a Ground Bass was written in 1980 for Lawrence Bradley and David Ruddock and had several performances by them in Kent. Lawrence also took it to America and gave more performances of the piece there, and it was performed recently (2001) at the Glamorgan Festival.
Ixion’s Wheel was written during the composer’s term as Mozart Fellow in 1993. The work is dedicated to Katherine Austin (piano) and Richard Foreman (clarinet), who gave the premiere performance in the Illot Concert Chamber, Wellington, during the ExtravaCANZa festival of November 1994. Mythology tells that on account of his aggression and lust, Ixion was lashed to a blazing wheel by Zeus, and sent whirling through the air to eternity. This work is the composer’s response to the sad fate of Ixion.
Madrigal is based on the lute song Can She Excuse My Wrongs by the English composer John Dowland (1563-1626). It is built as a continuous series of free variations that progressively move further away from the original theme and that are not constrained by the original form or structure.
Meditation is an ideal recital work for advanced secondary school students and above looking to perform contemporary music. It was originally written for viola and piano and later was adapted for both alto saxophone and clarinet.
The work was written to highlight the lyrical qualities of the solo instrument with a piano accompaniment. As such, Meditation provides an opportunity for the soloist to shine through individual expression making it a perfect for solo recitals and competitions.