First Performance by Michele Walsh (violin), Stephen Emmerson (piano), Ian Hanger Recital Hall, Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Brisbane, 24 August 2012
In mid 2011, Belinda Webster of Tall Poppies Records approached me about writing a ‘berceuse’ for violin and piano for Anna McMichael, and I immediately jotted down a bass line, my initial idea to make a lullaby that was also a passacaglia. Over the next few weeks, the bass line acquired some chords, but it went no further. It was sitting unfinished on my piano when I heard the shocking news about the death of the brilliant young violinist Richard Pollett, the son of my dear friend Patricia Pollett. From that moment, the sketch became associated in my mind with Richard, and eventually I completed it. In fact, I junked the original chords, and wrote the piece from scratch in a single day, though it remains a passacaglia.
Cradle Song is dedicated to Richard’s memory. A version of the piece became the second movement of String Quartet No 3.