Their souls go waltzing on (2004)

for solo piano

Requested by Daniel Matej for the ‘Tone Roads’ project

Publisher: Bardic Edition

Published in: Collected Shorter Piano Pieces Vol 1 (2008) – Bardic Edition BDE 917

Duration: 2 minutes, 15 seconds


Recorded by Jill Richards on ‘Michael Blake: Complete Works for Solo Piano 1994-2004’ (MBED001).


First performance: Friday 26 November 2004; Evenings of New Music, Bratislava, Slovakia; Daan Vandewalle piano.

Programme note

Their Souls Go Waltzing On was another request from Daniel Matej, this time for the Tone Roads Project, commemorating the 130th anniversary of the births of Charles Ives and Arnold Schoenberg. In the spirit of the request I appropriated some fragments of material from Ives’s Three-Page Sonata and Schoenberg’s Five Piano Pieces Op 23. I remembered that the Ives work opens with the timeless B-A-C-H motif and on reading through the Schoenberg I found it hidden away in various guises. What a perfect opportunity to include JS Bach in the manipulation of these daylight-robbed materials! Taking a cue from Schoenberg’s Op 23: No 5 (the Waltz) and the March sections in the Ives, I came up with a kind of march-waltz … or a waltz-march?


Piano music