This concert at St Mary’s Church, Putney, London, will feature the first public performance of Marha: A grand concert rag. I’ll be playing this new composition of mine with Marta Mitchell, dedicatee and Polish virtuoso of the piano, which will hopefully provide a good finale to the concert.
London Composers Forum returns to St. Mary's Parish Church, High Street, Putney for the first of two free Friday lunchtime concerts on 17 June at 1pm. Musical Moments brings together new music by composers based in the capital and covers a range of accessible styles from traditional to contemporary. This first concert features pieces for solo piano as well as piano duos with the flute, saxophone and cello. The programme includes an improvisation by Mark Pampel, who has built a notable reputation as solo pianist despite being registered blind. Other works in the programme include a sonata for flute and piano, a grand concert rag for piano and a light-hearted, romantic Pas de Deux for cello and piano. The concert will last about an hour. It's a great opportunity to wind down at the end of the week and prepare for the weekend with music that is fresh, stimulating, varied and free. Many of the composers will be present in person and there is the chance to meet and talk to them about their music. St. Mary's Church has a wealth of history, dating back to the late 15th century. Adjoining the church is a café – the Putney Pantry – offering snacks, drinks, refreshments and light meals in a relaxed setting. Do come along for lunch or a coffee and stay on to enjoy an hour of music by some of London's liveliest musicians and composers. Entry to the concert is entirely free, but we hope that what you will have heard will inspire you to make a generous donation as you leave. The second concert will take place at the church at 1pm on 1 July.
This is a new rendition of Ceremonial March No. 1 (Op. 45a) using Note Performer virtual instruments with Sibelius 7.5, @ David Arditti. This is as yet unperformed. Any orchestras or conductors interested, contact me. For instrument line-up see here.
The earlier rendition was produced with a combination of software and hardware instruments, but this is entirely software and at least as good if not better.
Such realisations also have the benefit of being far quicker to produce.
I will be playing a new short work for piano entitled Moment Musical in a convert given by London Composers Forum at 12 midday on Friday 6 March in the church of St Mary’s, Putney. The concert is free with a retiring collection. Other composers in the concert are Andrew Glynne, Ann Wolfe (who sadly died last year), Janet Oates, Laurence Glazier, Martin Jones (pictured with me below), Peter Terry, and Tony Matthews.
I’ve now uploaded a recording of the synthesised score of Ceremonial March no. 1 (Op 45a).
This is played from Sibelius 7 using in general Sibelius sounds for the strings and a hardware synth for the wind, which I think gives the best result.
For some reason the recording goes a bit poppy at the end. I’ll fix that when I have diagnosed the cause.
Clarinet in Eb
2 Clarinets in Bb
4 Horns in F
3 Trumpets in Bb
Percussion (Side Drum, Cymbals, Triangle, Tam-tam, Tubular Bells)
My three-movement Suite in C for solo guitar (Op. 43) will be played for the first time by Dennis Cooke of Lauderdale Guitar Society on Friday 20 September at Lauderdale House, Highgate, as part of this concert, which also features other new works.
A late note that Time and Tide (Op. 37) will be performed in an arrangement for flexible small wind ensemble by the London Consorts of Winds on Sunday 16 August 2013 on Clapham Common Bandstand. The concert, conducted by Alan Taylor, will start at 3:00pm, and also include works by Mozart, Shostakovich, and more.
My Suite for Brass Quintet, Op. 27, is being played by high-quality professional ensemble Total Brass, in this concert on Friday, presented by the excellent London Composers Forum. The concert includes music for organ, music for brass, and for the two together, by Tony Matteews, Alan Hilton, Martin Jones, Michael Regasn, John Holland, Alan Taylor, Derek Forster, Andrew Bungay, and Cedric Peachey. It is at 7:30pm at St Michael’s, Chester Square, London, SW1 (near Victoria Station). (This is also the church where Arthur Sullivan was organist for a short while). Tickets are £12 (£8 concessions), on the door, of from LCF, or call 07765 147324.
Here’s a new experiment: putting a video of a score of a newly-written work online. This is possible through a demo version of Sibelius 7 First software, which has this useful feature buried in this cut-down version of Sibelius 7, which (annoyingly) is not available in the full version of Sibelius 7, which I have actually bought!
Anyway, this is my Suite in C for guitar, Op. 43, which may require some further revision for playability (I am not a guitar expert). It came out of the London Composers Forum writing for guitar project with Lauderdale Guitar Society, and has already had the benefit of some input from society members Martin Byatt, Dennis Cooke, and Alex Lewis.
There are three short movements, titled Prelude, Valse, and Toccata.
Did you know that 2012 has seen celebrations of the centenary of the death of Britain’s first (and probably still most famous) black “classical” composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor? On Saturday I attended a gala concert of his music in Norwood, including the Ballade in A minor, Violin concerto in G minor, and Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, and on 30 December a plaque will be unveiled on the house in Croydon at which he died. There is now a “Network” for sharing information and events related to this neglected genius: the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Network.
I consider Hiawatha to be one of the greatest choral works ever written. It’s up there with Messiah, Elijah etc. The first part, Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast (the most commonly performed of his pieces), though built of seemingly simple, repetitive musical elements, somehow builds tremendous impact and emotion. The second part, The Death of Minniehaha, however, is the best part, heart-rendingly tragic. In the third part (they were all written as separate works), Hiawatha’s Departure, the level of inspiration falls slightly and there is a bit of musical treading of water (though not as bad as you find in parts of Elgar’s King Olaf (also a setting of Longfellow) or The Apostles). However, in the last few pages, the actual “departure”, it recovers, S C-T giving us one of the most refulgently “Edwardian” purple sunsets in the musical literature.
There are clearly many undiscovered gems from the pen of this composer yet to be given a modern airing. As an encore on Saturday, the excellent Croydon Opera with Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra gave the first modern performance of one of the Choral Ballads. This had been reorchestrated by Stephen Anthony Brown (whose main role in the concert was singing the tenor solo in Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast most beautifully) from the piano score, the full score having been lost in Word War II. It was another revelation of English romantic music. Brown was well-qualified to do this orchestrating work, having copied out all the parts from S C-T’s full score of his opera Thelma for as performance by Surrey Opera earlier this year. I have long been acquainted with his capabilities as a tenor, as he gave the first performance of my Joyce song-cycle Chamber Music back in 2001.