A new piece by Richard Blackford
It was lovely to spend the day a few weeks ago with wonderful composer Richard Blackford, recording a beautiful new piece he wrote for Christmas.
Christmas Dawn is a simple, hymn-like tune presented first softly, with a simple chordal accompaniment. As it gains momentum, with more expansive piano figuration the tune develops and extends. A contrasting middle section with staccato quavers heralds the return of the theme in a full, joyful iteration, before closing softly again. I sent the score to my publisher and they suggested that the pianist Simon Callaghan record Christmas Dawn with an accompanying video, as a celebratory lockdown project at Wyastone Recording Studio that might cheer people up, given the uncertainties of Christmas this year. I hope the music and the video will give pleasure at a time when Christmas cheer is much needed.
Update on 23 December: I've been moved by the amount of interest in this piece and our recording, which has included several plays on Classic FM, BBC Radio 3 and Scala Radio. It has had almost 10,000 streams on Spotify since the release, and was featured as Gramophone's Video of the Day on 4th December. You can read more below.