Songs and Dances
For Cello and Piano
(2011) 12 minutes
Commissioned by the Three Choirs Festival and premiered by Jamie Walton and Daniel Grimwood at Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, on 7th August 2011.
The three pieces that make up Songs and Dances were commissioned by the Three Choirs Festival and were written specifically with Jamie Walton and Daniel Grimwood in mind, after I heard them perform at a concert in Huntingdon last year. I was really struck by Jamie's melodic playing, and how their ensemble playing make it seem as if they had a psychic connection at times! There and then I decided that the new work I would write for them must show off these rare abilities as much as possible. As the Three Choirs Festival centres around choral music, I thought it would be nice to write several 'songs' for the cello, which I interspersed with a set of two dances (in one movement in Minuet and Trio form). In addition I had for some time wanted to create a larger scale work from a short 'cello piece I had written several years ago (which forms the 3rd of the three pieces) as I had always felt it seemed incomplete by itself and that it needed to be in a collection of pieces.
© Cheryl Frances-Hoad, 2011
"An elegiac quality also marked Frances-Hoad's new work...Handled with assurance by the composer and beautifully articulated by [cellist] Jamie Walton, such elegies are far from inappropriate for the cello's timbre, and in Elgar country, too..." Rian Evans, The Guardian
Due for release by Champs Hill Records (on The Whole Earth Dances, Cheryl's fifth disc with the label) in 2020.