The precise location of Illyria was not important to Shakespeare; what excited him was the resonance of the word itself and the romance of all far away, make believe places. Illyria is Never Never Land and the idea of inventing dances for such a place intrigued me.
The opening Rondeau has a seven bar refrain with a rhythmic twist to it, which alternates with variants highlighting most sections of the orchestra. The Aubade is a gentle dance in ternary form featuring the flutes, with a hint of the dawn chorus at the close. The final Gigue is a rondo in six-eight time, with the recurring theme also appearing in counterpoint to the many subsidiary themes.
Illyrian Dances is dedicated to my old and good friend Timothy Reynish.