Martin Bussey’s new work for piano, commissioned by pianist Matthew Schellhorn, is planned to receive its premiere this Summer at Three Choirs Festival.
Floreat Coll. Reg. is inspired by the tribute keyboard works of Herbert Howells, whose piano music makes up the rest of the recital. Martin’s work has two movements: Radcliffe’s Repose and Ledger’s Coranto.
Martin Bussey and Matthew Schellhorn tell us the story behind this commission:
I first met Matthew Schellhorn when he was a pupil at Chetham’s School of Music and have since followed his career as a pianist with pleasure. Knowing my interest in twentieth-century English music, in particular through my involvement with Finzi Friends, Matthew asked if I might accept a commission to write a short piano work for inclusion in his forthcoming Three Choirs Festival recital. This is focused on the music of Herbert Howells and includes a short piece Howells wrote following Finzi’s death. This is typical of a series of works that Howells composed celebrating a variety of musicians he knew called Howells’ Clavichord. As it happened, shortly before hearing from Matthew I had arranged for the 2020 Finzi Friends Journal to include a review of Matthew’s first CD of a cycle of Howells’ piano music. This all combined to give me the idea of composing two pieces celebrating two influential figures in my development as a musician when a Choral Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge in the late 1970s. So there is one reflective piece celebrating teacher and composer Philip Radcliffe and an exuberant piece (but with a sensitive middle section) celebrating Philip Ledger, Director of Music at King’s. I’m looking forward to adding the two pieces to my collection of scores available from Composers Edition.Martin Bussey
Martin Bussey was one of the teachers I admired the most at Chetham’s, and his musical integrity and indeed good nature I first encountered when I was 13 were qualities I knew would draw down into an enjoyable commission. Knowing of Martin’s choral experience and expertise, I asked him to write a piece as a complement to piano music by Howells; the resultant focus on two personalities who overlapped with Howells’s world not to mention the inventive instrumental textures very much rooted in the best piano tradition are greatly appreciated by me as a player and will be, I am sure, by audiences. I am so excited to premiere these pieces at this year’s Three Choirs Festival!Matthew Schellhorn
Matthew Schellhorn’s recital is planned for Friday 30 July, 11 am at Royal Grammar School, Worcester. For updated information about the concert please go to the website of the festival:
Also, the Wigmore Hall streaming of the ENO Harwood Artists recital from back in March which includes Martin Bussey’s setting of The Windhover is available online until the 23 July. Enjoy it!
Explore Martin Bussey’s works available for perusal and purchase at Composers Edition website, to which Floreat Coll. Reg. will be added in due course.