This little piano piece began as a playful sketch for Symphony ‘Vigil’. (In fact, the music appears towards the end of the second movement, unexpectedly on the celeste). The four notes of the Easter chant Lumen Christi are repeated over and over again, in two different octaves, with an ever-evolving harmonic background which leads to an unsettling polytonal opposition in the middle of the piece. The overall effect is of a child’s music box - simple, mostly serene but with some ominous shadings.
James MacMillan, August 1997
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer