Love Song for Dusty

For Solo Piano
(2016) 4 minutes

Commissioned by William Howard for his Contemporary Love Songs project and premiered by William at the Forge on the 6th June 2016.

Programme note 

When William asked me to write a Love Song for his wonderful project (the recording of sixteen new contemporary love songs for solo piano on the Orchid Classic Label), the first thing that occurred to me was that it would be a fabulous opportunity to completely let my compositional hair down! I wanted to pen something utterly heart-on-sleeve, with big melodies and grand pianistic gestures, something unashamedly over the top but also totally sincere, perhaps occasionally even a little romantically unhinged...

The inspiration came from various sources - primarily William's existing disc of Romantic Love Songs, but I also imagined my piece to be the result of what Chopin or Liszt would have written if they'd had lived in the 1960s and been heavily into Dusty Springfield (a temporary obsession of mine when I discovered that other types of music existed other than 'Classical'). As a composer I am usually scared of repetition, but in this work I wanted to keep as much as I could to a typical love song structure, with verses, choruses and bridges. This commission also fulfilled a long standing ambition to write a piece with an 'up a tone' key change at the end.

© Cheryl Frances-Hoad, 2016


"Cheryl Frances-Hoad went still further, opting to switch off her good taste and politeness attributes to compose Love Song for Dusty, the most wildly exuberant work of pianistic audacity I've heard since Jan Erik Mikalsen’s 2014 homage to Liberace, Too much of a good thing is wonderful. One might also apply that title to this piece, Frances-Hoad positively revelling in her grandiloquent tribute to Dusty Springfield, piling on the gestures and allusions with unchecked ebullience, unafraid even to sprinkle a little cheese over it all, but the piece proved to be as tasty as it was honest." 5Againt4

"The expansive gestures of Cheryl Frances-Hoad's Love Song for Dusty..."

Rebecca Franks, BBC Music Magazine

"The closing number [of William Howard's CD] is the funniest, Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s attempt to imagine what Chopin or Liszt might have composed “had they lived in the 1960s and been heavily into Dusty Springfield." 

Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

"Cheryl Frances-Hoad's Love Song for Dusty (Springfield) is an endearing oddity.'

Paul Driver, The Sunday Times 

"Love Song for Dusty by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, a homage to Dusty Springfield, combines jazz and pop-inspired harmonies with sweepingly romantic gestures redolent of Mendelssohn." 

The Cross-Eyed Pianist 

Performance history (post-premiere)

11th July 2018 - William Howard at Oundle School Chapel, Oundle, UK 

9th July 2017 - William Howard at the Pillar Room, Cheltenham Town Hall, UK

26th April 2017 - William Howard at Hoxton Hall, London, UK

8th January 2017 - William Howard at Hawkwood College, Stroud


Buy Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs, William Howard's CD featuring Love Song for Dusty

Download from iTunes

Stream on Spotify


Watch the trailer for William Howard's CD (featuring Love Song for Dusty) on YouTube