A fantasy on a motet: the original material is a Marian antiphon by Dunstable, of which one of his own organ versions is here laid out for the left hand. The right hand enters later with Davies's thoughts, which grow and dissolve in cycles as the piece proceeds.
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In SUB TUAM PROTECTIONEM, the original keyboard piece – the second arrangement by Dunstable of his isorhythmic motet of the same name – is given in its entirety to the left hand, the right hand playing Maxwell Davies’ paraphrase. This sets up a constant tension between the sound worlds of Dunstable and Maxwell Davies.
The first performance of this work was given on 13 January 1970 at the Purcell Room by Stephen Pruslin.
© Peter Maxwell Davies