The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve is a line taken from A Midsummer Night's Dream (Act V, scene 1). The complete line reads 'The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve: - Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.' The music reflects the impish and magical nature of the fairies. The piece is a series of miniatures which should be played together.
Moth flutters around erractically; Peaseblosson is a grumpy fairy; Mustardseed is playful and cheeky; Cobweb is mysterious and questioning and Puck is very fast and spritely in character.
I very much like the idea of a double bass being used to represent creatures that we think of as light and small. Here the player is representing their characters and moods rather than their physical presence. [Edmund Jolliffe]
'The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve' was premiered at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset) on 30 September 2007 by Louis van der Westhuizen (Double Bass) and Mark Cracknell (Piano).