An "Afterpiece" was a short supplementary entertainment performed after full-length plays in
18th-century England. As used here, the title implies that inchoate sense of "coming
after" that informs many of my works, including "Epilogue" (1973), "Aprèslude" (1977),
and "Apostille" (1994).
My four "After-Pieces" were composed in 1989-1990, exactly twenty
years after my first piano cycle, the "Orphic Pieces".
In No 1, "By the clear dark fountain", a distorted fragment of
the French folksong 'A la claire fontaine' (a childhood memory) is blow up
out of all proportion.
"The Amorous Sphinx" explores the sphinx of the Schummanesque variety:
an encoded name yields a refurrent seven-note figure. The ecstatic central
section provides harmonic material for the two subsequent pieces.
The title "Passades" - subsequently lent to Roger Doyle - comes
from dressage: a "passade" is the act of moving back and forth over
the same ground. Of course, it can also refer to an adulterous adventure...
No 4, "The Sphinx Unleashed", is a savage toccata with echoes of