Cantilena was commissioned by the London Chamber Music Society to celebrate their move to King's Place in October 2008.
First performed by Nicholas Daniel and members of the Chilingirian Quartet at King’s Place, London on 5th October, 2008.
The work is a short, lyrical piece where an outsider [the oboe] joins the group [a string trio] and adds to their dialogue. At first the newcomer is treated with a mixture of suspicion and agitation, but eventually is made welcome. The oboe is invited to share the musical theme that has been established which he then proceeds to embellish and adorn. He leads the harmonic changes that result in the theme being heard in many different keys. He then introduces a new theme. The excitement grows and leads to a climax. A peaceful coda re-establishes the original theme and all ends harmoniously among the integrated quartet.