Two short rhapsodic pieces for solo piano
- 7 minutes, 15 seconds
- Op.31 No.1: …the touches of sweet harmony
- Op.31 No.2: …the sun breaks through the darkest clouds
These two pieces were composed for Krystyna Palamarchuk, the composer's former colleague in the St. Helen's Music Department in Northwood, Hillingdon, UK.
Diatonic in style, they are both rhapsodic in construction, and unselfconsciously melodic throughout.
The first piece was written partly in Portadown, Northern Ireland and completed in Harringworth, Northants in 2008. The title comes from a line in The Merchant of Venice, V:1. Although beginning and ending in C major, it is largely centred around E flat major.
Initially a 17-bar waltz in a rather sardonic style, firmly avoiding its tonic and borrowing perhaps from Prokofiev, it then leans into a more secure and lyrical E flat major for a much lengthier central section.
All themes are developed before a pianissimo recap of the C major theme in the piano's lower register. This is quickly brought to a climax, the waltz rhythm now distorted with a mixture of 3- and 4-time, before ending quietly on an ambiguous seventh chord in a darker C minor.
The second piece was written in Bangkok, Thailand, and completed in Harringworth on Christmas Eve 2007. The title comes from a line in The Taming of the Shrew, IV:3. This piece is also diatonic, but the tonality progresses from D minor to conclude in B flat major.
Largely two-part piano writing, it modulates freely, developing the initial descending arpeggio motif against syncopated accompaniment figures.
- 7 August 2009 (No.1 only) at St Lawrence Jewry Church, next Guildhall, London EC2
- 7 May 2011 (No.2 only) at Shotley Farm House, Harringworth, Northants, for the composer’s 60th birthday celebration, with Krystyna Palamarchuk (piano)
- 6 October 2012, at the Karmi (Karaman) village church, near Kyrenia, North Cyprus, by the composer (piano) — No.2 only
- 9 August 2014 at the wedding of Charlotte and Simon at St Andrew's Church, Lyddington, Rutland - No. 2 only
- 6 August 2016 at the wedding of Harriet and Mathias, St Andrew's Church, Lyddington, Rutland - no 1 only