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‘Hymn of Creation’ by Naresh Sohal – a Major...

Peter Copley Joins Composers Edition

17 December 2021 Comments Off on January 2022 New Release Round-Up Views: 1371 CE News

January 2022 New Release Round-Up

The New Year brings us an initial selection of scores by newly signed Peter Copley, works for varied instrumental and vocal formations by Odaline de la Martinez, Jeffrey Holmes, Graham Lynch, Silvina Milstein, Susannah Self, Angela Elizabeth Slater, Simon Speare, Andrew Toovey, Marc Yeats, also a new book by Sunny Knable.

Also available as a PDF and an MS Excel Spreadsheet.

Peter Copley

Aubade

for piano solo

Aubade for Piano was commissioned by Margaret Fingerhut to whom it is dedicated. My intention was to write a kind of companion piece to Britten’s Night Piece (1963). The first performance was given by Margaret Fingerhut at Altes Rathaus, Vienna on the 24th October 2017 and subsequently at St Luke’s Church, Brighton on the 2nd February 2018.

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Die Nacht ist Kommen

meditations on a chorale melody for wind quartet

The chorale melody ‘Die Nacht ist Kommen’ can be found in Albert Riemenschneider’s collection of J.S.Bach’s complete chorale harmonisations (number 231). An arrangement of this version opens the present work and closes it but what happens in between is not so much a meditation on Bach as on the melody itself. Every section of the piece uses the melody in some form and some of the transforming techniques are analogous to those used by Bach in his Chorale Preludes and Chorale Variations. However, I was not in any way trying to write ‘Neo-Baroque’ music but simply to take the melody, as Bach did, as my starting point and also as a point of return.

‘Die Nacht ist Kommen’ was mostly composed in 2007 and is dedicated to the Southern Winds quartet.

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Fantasy Sonata

for clarinet in Bb and piano

Fantasy Sonata was composed in late summer – Autumn 2005.

As its title implies, Fantasy Sonata follows in a long tradition of compositions that combine in a continuous movement some of the contrasting elements of a multi movement piece. To some commentators, this implies a rhapsodical looseness of structure but that was certainly not my creative intention in this work. A possible model at the back of my mind when composing, in terms of general architectural proportions, although certainly not in musical language, was John Ireland’s Fantasy-Sonata (1943), written for the clarinettist Frederick Thurston and to my mind one of the finest works for clarinet and piano composed in the last century.

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Missa Brevis

for SATB choir and organ

Missa Brevis was composed for Piers Vaughan and the choir of St Paul’s, Brighton in 1989. It was first performed liturgically by them in November 1990. The first concert performance was given by the Brighton Consort at St Peter’s Church in the May 1991 Brighton Festival. The present version incorporates some minor revisions made in 2007 when the work was transcribed on to Sibelius. Further minor revisions were made in January 2018.

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Salamanca 1936

for bass solo, chorus and orchestra

An oratorio portrayal of the Columbus Day meeting at the University of Salamanca 12th October 1936. A key moment in the Spanish Civil War, the incident led to the house arrest of writer and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, at the time Rector of the university, who died just 2 months later. Based on several sources including Antony Beevor’s history of the Spanish Civil War and Luis Portillo’s 1941 published account of the day it tells the story from Unamuno’s perspective whilst under house arrest. It also includes a setting of Unamuno’s own poem La nevada es silenciosa (the snowfall is so silent).

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Scherzos and Arias

for clarinet in Bb, violin, viola and cello

Scherzos and Arias was composed between January and November 1992 and was based on a misunderstanding. When I was invited to compose a ‘Clarinet Quartet’, being a string player, I naturally assumed the present combination of instruments. It was only when I was well underway that it transpired that what was meant was a piece for four clarinets. Nonetheless, I pressed on and the present work resulted (the four-clarinet piece never did get written!). The five movements are all based on the same material but the contrasts between them are intended to be more apparent than their underlying unity which is latent rather than manifest.

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Short Mass (SATB version)

version for SATB choir and organ (with English or Latin text)

Short Mass was composed in the summer of 2020 as some lockdown restrictions were starting to be removed and singing was once more permitted in churches. At St Bartholemew’s Church, Brighton, this was initially limited to a single cantor with organ and so the setting was originally conceived for just these forces with an English text. However, I subsequently produced a version of this for SATB and organ and also slightly revised versions for both forces setting instead the Latin text.

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Short Mass (solo voice version)

version for solo voice and organ (with English or Latin text)

Short Mass was composed in the summer of 2020 as some lockdown restrictions were starting to be removed and singing was once more permitted in churches. At St Bartholemew’s Church, Brighton, this was initially limited to a single cantor with organ and so the setting was originally conceived for just these forces with an English text. However, I subsequently produced a version of this for SATB and organ and also slightly revised versions for both forces setting instead the Latin text.

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Two Carols

for SATB choir

Two Carols were composed in the summer of 2012 as a silver wedding present for Lucinda Haughton and Stephen Charlesworth. They were first performed by the BBC Singers at a broadcast concert from the Temple Church, London winter festival on the 15th December 2017. They may be performed, either by choirs or single voices. If the former, ‘solo / tutti’ directions should be observed. If the latter, the minimum forces required are six voices: SSAATB for Balulalow and SSATBB for Sir Christèmas. Sir Christèmas is also available in a version for male voices (AATBaBB), transposed down one tone.

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Three Epitaphs

for clarinet in Bb, violin and piano

Three Epitaphs were written between 1996 and 1999 as reactions to the deaths of three friends. While they may be played and understood as abstract music, each has specific connotations with the person in whose memory it was composed.

Dudley Hyams (1942-1998) was a talented but largely unrecognised composer.

Joanne Johnson (1972-1997) was also a gifted composer who died in tragic circumstances at the age of only twenty-five.

Tracey Chadwell (1959-1996) was a singer of phenomenal musicality and artistry.

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Three Motets

for soprano solo, SATB choir and organ

Three Motets were commissioned by St Bartholomew’s church, Brighton in July 2011.

For Fr Geoffrey Baulcomb, Derek Barnes and the choir of St Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton.

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Three Medieval Carols

for SATB choir

Three Medieval Carols were composed in March 1997 for Neil Jenkins and the Brighton Chamber Choir. They were first performed at St Peter’s Church, Brighton in December 1997. They were transcribed on to Sibelius in January 2018 with some minor revisions.

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Wind Quintet

for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon

My Wind Quintet was composed in 1995 and is dedicated to the Susira Wind Quintet, who gave its first performance at the 1996 Brighton Festival. It was revised in December 2020. The starting point in its composition was my reading of an essay by the Polish philosopher Leszek Kołokowski entitled ‘In Praise of Inconsistency’. I wanted to write a piece where completely disparate elements existed side by side, rather than one where a concept of ‘organic’ unity relates everything to everything else. The problem is that inconsistency itself becomes consistent if systematically applied – so I tried to make the piece inconsistent, even in its inconsistency!

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Odaline de la Martinez

Four Afro Cuban Poems

for mezzo-soprano and string quartet

Four Afro Cuban Poems is based on four poems taken from Nicolas Guillen’s Motivos de Son (1930.) The work was strongly influenced by his meeting that year with the African American poet Langston Hughes.

Nicolás Guillén (10 July 1903 – 17 July 1989) was a Cuban poet, journalist, political activist, and writer. He is best remembered as the national poet of Cuba. Guillen made his mark internationally with the publication of his first collection Motivos de son (1930). It was inspired by the living conditions of Afro-Cubans and the popular son music, drawing from son music in his poetry. The work consists of eight short poems using the everyday language of the Afro Cubans. The collection stood out in the literary world because it emphasized and established the importance of Afro-Cuban culture as a valid genre in Cuban literature.

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Short & Sweet

for solo marimba

Short and Sweet for solo marimba is one of a collection of 200 solo pieces commissioned to celebrate the bicentenary of the Royal Academy of Music in 2022. The composer would like to thank Philip Cashian for commissioning the work on the RAM’s behalf.

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Jeffrey Holmes

Rán

for soprano solo

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Sunny Knable

The Quarantine Chronicle of a Composer

a collection of essays on music, composition, community, education, career, French, personal revelations and politics written and revised in the time of COVID-19

We are very happy to announce the publication of a new book by American composer, performer and educator Sunny Knable. The Quarantine Chronicle of a Composer is a candidly personal introspection about musicians, music and society during the time of the COVID crisis. The book includes a collection of 20 essays written and revised in quarantine. Subjects cover a vast array of interests: from finding new passions and expressions to the state of contemporary classical music, the loss and rebuilding of community, an exploration of new technical and emotional tools in education, and the loss of artistic opportunity and hope in the future while attempting to make a difference at the tail end of the Trump presidency in the era of Black Lives Matter and Me Too. Accompanied with photos taken by the author during the pandemic, this collection is truly a chronicle of the times we live in.

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Graham Lynch

Couperin on the Road

for flute, viola and harp

‘Couperin on the Road’ came about after the harpist from the Beau Soir Ensemble, Michelle Lundy, contacted me over another piece of my music that she wished to perform, and we started chatting about other possibilities. For years now the four volumes of the Éditions Heugel complete harpsichord works of Couperin have sat on a corner of my desk, along with four volumes of the complete Haydn String Quartets – two very different strands of creative musical thought. It seemed to me that some of Couperin’s pieces would work perfectly in arrangements for flute, viola, and harp. As Stravinsky had done with Pulcinella I selected the pieces I wanted and sliced them around in order to create a convincing narrative throughout the set. The melody and harmony remains much the same but the timbral possibilities of the ensemble allowed me to point up different aspects of the music, and to be inventive with the textures. The Beau Soir Ensemble, and especially Michelle Lundy, have been great collaborators, giving me feedback on tempi and ornamentation; as what I’d originally imagined in my head didn’t always work out in practice!

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Silvina Milstein

falling, falling from far afar…

for viola

‘falling, falling from far afar…’ borrows its title from a line in Rilke’s ‘Autumn’.

The core of this composition is a free rendering for viola of an improvisation by Okura Shonosuke that combines otsuzumi strokes (hand-held drum) and kakegoe (shouts used in performances of Japanese music). The opening section presents sequences of melodic fragments distantly evocative of a Handel aria, interspersed with pizzicatos figures, that anticipate the largely percussive character of the Noh-theatre inspired music that makes the central section of this work. The closing section returns to the Handelian features of the opening.

First performance: 23 November 2021, Angela Burgess Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London by Dorota Kolinek (viola).

Commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music for the 200 Pieces Project, as part of its Bicentenary Celebrations.

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Susannah Self

The Island (Symphony No.4)

for orchestra

I composed The Island when I was gifted an artist retreat on the island of Skyros by Christine Schulz, who runs The Skyros Centre where I teach singing and perform my music every summer. The island stands alone in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

The idea behind the work is to symbolically represent an artist’s life as an island in the sense that each of us is ultimately alone with our vocation. The artist is literally washed ashore in the opening storm which provides a metaphor for the necessary introspection that an artist finds him/herself confronted with. The work is not a personal statement but universal to the issues of every artist’s inner journey.

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Angela Elizabeth Slater

Drifting Spells

for guitar and loop pedal

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Simon Speare

Leaf Turns

for solo oboe

Leaf Turns was first sketched on a windy autumn day. Swirling, tumbling, bright orange and yellow leaves inspired me to write dancing music celebrating the agility of the oboe. The slow, morbido, gentile e legato section is an invitation to the player to create the most beautiful soft sounds they can; a ‘still centre’ before finding a ‘second wind’ to resume the dance with increased energy. I wanted to write a piece that largely eschewed extended techniques and celebrated a familiar oboe sound refined by thousands of players over the years.

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Andrew Toovey

Beacon of Light

for SATB choir

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Cântec

for viola and piano

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Come Ready

for SATB choir

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Euonia

for chamber ensemble

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Fallen

for mezzo-soprano and violin

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Going Home

for string quartet

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Pump Triptych

for solo bass clarinet

For Andrew Smith

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Shining Forth

for piano trio

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Daniele Venturi

Nonsense 21

for soprano, marimba and electronics

Dedicated to Marion Tassou and Laurent Mariusse.

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Marc Yeats

liquid music for ensemble

for clarinet and seven instrumentalists

Like all my recent timecode-supported polytemporal compositions, liquid music for ensemble is an assemblage of materials self-borrowed and re- contextualised from extant compositions. The piece is built around liquid music (2017), a solo clarinet work written as a companion piece to the virtuosic alto flute solo, streaming (2014). To this extent, it self-borrows and transforms material from streaming that together with material from the string quartet, observation 1 (2015), Dark Gravity (2014) and On a Theme of Hermes (2012), is expanded to make a compact concerto-type work for clarinet and small ensemble.

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new land

for 7 players

There is no programmatic intention in what unfolds as sound in this piece: any or no relationship to the title and the sounding music is forged at the discretion of the composer, performer and listener. Despite this statement, there is an unfolding of material that manifests through contrasting sections of music to hopefully provide the listener with a compelling experience even without programmatic intent. It is the interplay between and within these sections that is the narrative content of the composition.

‘new land’ is dedicated to my dear friend Sylvia Junge.

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