Dawn’s Dove for solo recorder was composed in 1994. It was first performed by John Turner, who commissioned it, at a concert in honour of the sixtieth birthday of the composer Anthony Gilbert, to whom the piece is dedicated.
It is not a literal birdsong, but I hope it captures the spirit of jubilant dawn chorus - as well as the softer sounds of a dove, which does not get up as early as other birds! I wrote it while I was writing my opera 'The Wildman' and the epilogue of that opera is introduced by a piccolo solo which is very like Dawn's Dove - they share material. In the opera, it signifies early morning.
Part way through Dawn’s Dove, the tempo becomes steadier and I quote from a beautiful work of Anthony Gilbert, his 'Towards Asavari’, for piano and ensemble. At the end of that work, there is a trumpet solo which outlines the Indian raga on which the piece is based. My quote alludes to that.
The unfolding melodic line of Dawn’s Dove is sometimes inflected by microtones; the piece lasts between two and three minutes.