This composition was written in 2011 for the Southern Sinfonia. It is a modern interpretation of the sense of medieval and renaissance dance, distorted through time. It does not attempt to replicate actual dances, but instead draws on images conjured in the composer’s mind of the energy and vitality of country and court dances.
It begins with an orchestrated version of the composers’ setting of a 16th century gossip song text, Je ne l’ose dire. This is then developed in a rhythmically charged section, gradually building to a climax that ends with a solo bassoon heralding the next section, a more mysterious, stylised dance jumping between contrasting sections, featuring a flute and oboe solo juxtaposed against more aggressive string writing. This resolves into a contemplative lyrical section. The final dance has a strong sense of forward momentum, with a strong rhythmic pattern in the lower strings. This pattern continues and is juxtaposed against the opening theme concluding with a final climax.
A colourful…commissioned work in which every section certainly “got their money’s worth”. Many intricate themes and obligato passages in unusual combinations and key shifts made for a very successful and enjoyable contemporary work.
Elizabeth Bouman, Otago Daily Times