Oh Clare (2003)

for solo piano

Requested by Tony Gray for his Bach project on ABC Records (forthcoming 2009)
Recorded by Jill Richards on ‘Michael Blake: Complete Works for Solo Piano 1994-2004’ (MBED001); and by Antony Gray on ‘Bach Piano Transcriptions’ (ABC Records PLU 347534)
Published in: 
Duration: 3'30"


First performance: Thursday 17 July 2003; Chiswick Music Society, London, United Kingdom; Antony Gray pianoperformance details.

Programme note

Oh Clare uses material from the Bach chorale Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, specifically in the piano arrangement by Myra Hess, and follows the 'floor plan' of that model virtually bar for bar. Composed at the request of Australian pianist Antony Gray for his Bach project for ABC Records, it treats both Bach and Hess rather irreverently, with a touch of Australia's greatest composer Percy Grainger for added irreverence. Who is Clare? A beautiful girl I once knew who had a passion for Bach.

She was the joy of my desiring, and somewhere out there she is probably still pursuing her passion.