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29 April 2021 Comments Off on May 2021 New Release Round-Up Views: 830 CE News

May 2021 New Release Round-Up

May brings us an array of new works for choir, chamber, ensemble, solo instruments, orchestra, and two operas by Anne LeBaron and Emma-Ruth Richards.

Also available as a PDF and an MS Excel Spreadsheet.

Richard Barnard

My Frame Was Not Hidden From You

for unaccompanied choir

My Frame Was Not Hidden From You is inspired by the 15th century polyphony of Ockeghem and his contemporaries. It is a mensuration canon, taking the technique used in Ockeghem’s Missa prolationum and other works.


Sailor’s Carol

for unaccompanied SATB choir

Text by Charles Causley.

This is a winter prayer, an anti-carol that leaves behind images of Christmas to find a timeless place of remembering and forgetting. The final verse references Causley’s experiences serving in the British Royal Navy.

In this setting, the music echoes the precise simplicity of the text. It uses familiar Renaissance-influenced counterpoint, modal melodies and folk inflections, but with an ambiguity and restlessness, like a star seen through tears, or the imperfections of glass, or the endless rolling of the sea.


Then I Saw

for unaccompanied double choir (SAT/ATB)

Then I Saw is inspired by early Renaissance polyphony, using the same compositional technique as the motet Nesciens mater of Jean Mouton (c.1459 – 1522).

Both pieces are a multiple canon throughout; the upper choir repeats the music of the lower choir at a 5th (in this piece after three measures). The upper choir’s material is strictly derived from a delayed tranposition of the lower choir’s, including occassional swapping of parts and octave transpositions.


Joe Cutler

Fourteen Melodies for Wim

for 14 instruments

To Wim Boerman, with love and gratitude.


James Erber

Malkhut: Dialoghi d’amore

for piano

The original version of the piece was written between 24th September and 12th November 2018 in San Vito lo Capo, Sicily and London, and given its first performance by Ian Pace at the Performance Space, City University, London on 1 3th May 2019. It was revised, under its present title, between 26th and 28th February 2020.

The work’s new title Malkuth: Dialoghi d’amore refers both to the two added lines and to the Dialoghi d’amore (“Dialogues on Love”) by the 15th Italian humanist Leone Ebreo (Judah Abravanel).


Christopher Fox

The Dark Road

for cello solo, with or without sound files

Commissioned by Trio Scordatura and dedicated to them; premiere, Tate Britain, 5 April 2013.


Erika Fox

Improvisation on Six Notes

for soprano, flute and guitar

Written in 1971
Duration 15 min
Premiered by Jane Manning, Judith Pearce, Gilbert Biberian. SPNM Weekend, London.


Pas de Deux

for violin and double bass

Written in 1981
Duration 20 min
Commissioned by “Lysis”. Hazel Smith Roger Dean. Purcell Room.


Anthony Gilbert

Tulip Dance à 5

for bass recorder, tuned percussion and celesta

This piece, just under 5 minutes in duration, is really intended to be danced to – not , perhaps, in the ballroom, but on stage as a short ballet number.


Michael Zev Gordon


for flute, clarinet, viola, cello, piano and vibraphone

The first performance of Sehnsucht was given by the Hermes Ensemble and their director Koen Kessels at the Barber Institute of Arts, Birmingham on May 9 2014.

Its first London performance was given by students of the Royal Academy of Music and conductor Oscar Colomina Bosch at David Josefowitz Recital Hall, as part of a Mainly New portrait concert of Michael Zev Gordon on May 15 2014.



for orchestra


Brian Inglis

Ave, generosa

for small ensemble

Several fragments of Hildegard von Bingen, including that referred to in the title (‘Hail, noble girl’), a lyric in praise of the Virgin Mary, are incorporated into this work. Another source is an acrostic mentioned in the Vita Sanctoe Hildegardis; a mysterious pattern of letters in the form of a cross, discovered by a young priest on his altar-cloth, and explicated by Hildegard.


Rondeau – Chocuna (solo viola version)

for solo viola

Rondeau-Chocuna is, as the title suggests, a combination of two formal models, encased within an introduction and coda.

The music responds to the expressive challenges of Bach’s D minor solo violin chaconne, and its re-imagining in Berio’s Sequenza VI for solo viola (1967), whilst also incorporating the spirit of the dance.

Originally conceived for viola, the piece was premiered in that form by Paul Silverthorne at Durham University in January 1991.

A version for violin from 1994 is also available.


Tonia Ko

The Return

for baritone and piano

Words from The Man With a Hammer by Anna Wickham, 1916


Catherine Kontz


for flute, piano and cello

Somnus is inspired by the science of sleep and polysomnographic recordings of brain waves, eye movements and neck muscle tension. The ten-minute duration of the piece mimics the cyclic staged of an 8-hour night for each of the performers.


Liz Lane

Song from Silver Rose (saxhorn version)

for saxhorn quartet

This arrangement of Song from Silver Rose was especially created for the Saxhorn Fest 2019.

Silver Rose was originally written for brass band and narrator, with words by Isaac Rosenberg, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1.


Song from Silver Rose (euphonium version)

for euphonium quartet

This arrangement of Song from Silver Rose was especially created for the Saxhorn Fest 2019, and further arranged for euphonium quartet by request at a later date.

Silver Rose was originally written for brass band and narrator, with words by Isaac Rosenberg, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1.


Song from Silver Rose (tuba version)

for tuba quartet

This arrangement of Song from Silver Rose was especially created for the Saxhorn Fest 2019, and further arranged for tuba quartet by request at a later date.

Silver Rose was originally written for brass band and narrator, with words by Isaac Rosenberg, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1.


Welcome to the Weather (euphonium duet version)

for euphonium duet

The poem Welcome to the Weather reflects the Danish culture of ‘hygge’ which has recently become popular in Britain. It was originally part of the song cycle Brightest Day a Cloud, featuring a selection of poems about the weather and travel, and commissioned by Danish trio Corde di Gioia.


Anne Lebaron

Crescent City

an opera in fifteen scenes

Crescent City tells a kaleidoscopic tale of a fictional city barely functioning after one hurricane and now threatened by another. The supernatural figure of legendary voodoo queen Marie Laveau emerges from her tomb to try and save the city from annihilation, while marauding revelers celebrate an apocalyptic final party as the world comes to an end. The hallucinatory musical colors extend beyond conventional opera with electronica, non-traditional vocal techniques, and experimental jazz. Crescent City was produced by The Industry, with a run of twelve performances in Los Angeles, and directed by Yuval Sharon.

Libretto by Douglas Kearney.


The Good Man’s Song

scene five from Crescent City for voice and piano

The Good Man’s Song is taken from the opera, The Crescent City.


Radiant Depth Unfolded

settings of Rumi for soprano, baritone and piano

Anne LeBaron’s choices, snapshots from the vast emotional and spiritual territory explored by this master, include ecstatic, everyday, and esoteric poems. The order of the five poems in this cycle was intended to reflect the fluidity of literary forms generated by Rumi throughout his long and luminous life.

Radiant Depth Unfolded was completed while in residence at Copland House, Cortlandt Manor, New York, as a recipient of the Copland House Residency Award.


Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson

Four Pieces

for young pianists

These four works are for the student pianist. The third piece, Burgundy, is for four hands.

1. La Lang Nuit 3:50
2. Serenade 1:10
3. Burgundy 1:40
4. Slow Dance 3:14



for string orchestra

Premiere January 21, 2003, Bern, Switzerland: Bern-Neufeld Chamber Orchestra, Kaspar Zehnder cond.


Richard Pantcheff

Psalm Prelude

for organ and string orchestra (or string quartet)

Written in 1986, receiving its world premiere in March 2013 with Theo van Wyk (Organ) and the Goldberg Quartet.


Three Poems of the Spirit

for upper voice and organ

Written as three separate works: Litany to the Holy Spirit; and Renewal of Light (both 1994); and The Sun’s Arising (2013). Collated in 2021.

Three Poems of the Spirit may be performed together as a group, or entirely separately.


Camden Reeves

Viola Detonation: Plutonium 239

weapons-grade solo for unaccompanied viola

In this music the viola undergoes a chain-reaction of sorts. It begins with a slightly irregular melody – beautiful yet deadly – that decays and emits other things…initiating a chain reaction of destruction that becomes impossible to control as things continue.

The score is dedicated to my dear friend, the amazing Vlad Bogdanas. In his hands the viola can transform into any number of elements you like.


Emma-Ruth Richards


a chamber opera in seven scenes

Traffick is an opera about violence, desperation and loss that reveals, in part, the terrifying expansive underworld of the trafficking ‘profession’.

The characters in this opera are based chiefly on testimonials discovered through the incredible work of the Helen Bamber Foundation and publications by Rachel Witkin. Lydia Cacho’s book ‘Slavery Inc’ and Mimi Chakarova’s documentary ‘The Price of Sex’ have also provided invaluable insight into the industry.

Music: Emma-Ruth Richards

Text: Nic Chalmers

Libretto commissioned by Nordland Teater (Norway)

Orchestration funded by The Composers’ Fund (PRS for Music Foundation)


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