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Kerenza Peacock (violin) & Huw Watkins (piano) / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul Bateman

[ Signum Classics / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 16 December 2016

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Oliver Davis writes: "Dance is the third in a series of albums, Flight and Seasons having been released in 2015. My musical association with dance began when Erico Montes (First Artist with the Royal Ballet) choreographed the ballet Within the Hours to a three movement cello suite I had written. This was performed by members of the Royal Ballet as part of Draft Works. Montes followed this by choreographing a solo piece, Prometheus, to the slow movement of Flight, also performed at Draft Works and it was during its subsequent performances at the St James Theatre that I decided to create an album based around the concept of dance.

The first movement of the concerto Dance began as a simple set of sequences for solo violin which Kerenza initially recorded as separate 'modules'. I then developed the idea and subsequently added a piano. Performed here by Huw Watkins the piano plays a pivotal role in the second movement and then an equal role with the solo violin in the final movement.

The opening movement of American influenced Frontiers is scored for violins only. It is followed by a reflective slow movement and concludes with a minimalist final movement. This piece was an opportunity to make use of Kerenza's ability and enthusiasm to play both classical and folk music.

With Dance Odyssey I wanted to create the feeling of 'another world', so scored an atmospheric 'overture' for the opening of this single movement work. The desire was to take the listener on a journey.

Musical Box conjures up the rotating ballerina found in a jewellery box, and, as is often experienced with wind up mechanical toys, the music rarely ends where you would expect.

The opening and closing movements of Arco hint at the tradition of Russian ballet music both rhythmically and melodically, the solo violin dancing 'butterfly like' above the orchestra. In contrast, the slow movement has a pensive intensity.

With this album I was keen to explore the various traditional forms of dance, including its role in folk music. In the opening movement of Dancing Folk I used the Bavarian dance form Zwiefacher, the rhythmic complexity of which appealed to me. I then searched for other contrasting dance styles, which resulted in the hoe-down style of the middle movement and a calypso feel to the last.

Fiddlelicks contrasts with the rest of the album in that it was written for Kerenza alone. I recorded her on seven different tracks and then combined these, creating an illusion of several violinists playing together. The first movement is in an Eastern European folk style, with a nod to Gershwin, while the second movement takes the form of a Fandango.

Kerenza added two solo violin lines and her voice, again multi-tracked, to the closing piece Dance Epilogue.

For all the recordings Ingles and Hayday kindly loaned to Kerenza a violin by Antonio Stradivari."


Dance Odyssey
Musical Box
Dancing Folk
Dance Epilogue