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31 August 2020 Comments Off on September 2020 New Release Round-Up Views: 544 CE News

September 2020 New Release Round-Up

This month we bring you works by our latest signing Anne LeBaron, new Christmas music by Susannah Self, a third batch of works from Christopher Fox, lockdown inspired commissions and more…

Also available as a PDF and an MS Excel Spreadsheet.

Mark Bowden

Airs No Oceans Keep

for piano trio

Emily Dickinson’s poem ‘I think that the Root of the Wind is Water’. Commissioned by the Machynlleth Festival


Martin Bussey

The Cold Heaven

for soprano, recorder, oboe, violin and cello

Composed for the CD ‘Songs for Sir John’ in tribute to Sir John Manduell.


The Windhover

for baritone and violin

This setting seeks to replicate in musical terms something of the poet’s concept of ‘inscape’


Philip Cashian


five miniatures for guitar

Commissioned by the International Guitar Foundation as a test piece for the 2020 London International Guitar Competition


Emily Doolittle


for piano trio

Commissioned for the Kapten Trio by Enterprise Music Scotland.


Liz Dilnot Johnson

A Little Lockdown Lyric

for piano

For Duncan Honeybourne.


Christopher Fox

chambre privée

for string quartet

Imagine a culture in which the string quartet has no history. No Haydn, no late-Beethoven, no Bartok, no ‘Eleanor Rigby’. How would a group of four string players – why four? why not? why two violins? maybe the bass player couldn’t get up the stairs… How would a group of four string players know what to play, how to play together? ‘chambre privée’ is the space in which they might begin to work it out.


A dream of winter

for voices (SA)

Four settings of poems by Edward Thomas (1878-1917) exploring his ability to reveal the strangeness within the ordinary. Written for the girls’ choir of St. Catharine’s College, conducted by Edward Wickham.


Planes and folds

for solo violin and pre-recorded sine-tones

Written in 2017 and 2018 for Yael Barolsky, whose playing inspired it and to whom it is dedicated. More in this feature post.



for solo cello with three recording devices



in Widerwertigkeit des Kriegs for seven solo voices (SSATTBB)

Texts by Martin Opitz (1597-1639). Commissioned and premiered by EXAUDI.


Too far

for voice, violin, cello and piano

Cycle of fifteen pieces, five purely instrumental. Everything in the cycle is derived from existing music by Gesualdo, Biber, Satie, Eisler and Velvet Underground and setting texts by Julian of Norwich, Emily Brontë, Emily Dickinson, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Sylvia Plath


Michael Zev Gordon


Ten Propositions of Baruch Spinoza for tenor and piano

Settings of texts from the Ethics by Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza, to be premiered at the 2020 Oxford Lieder Festival by James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook.


Anne LeBaron

A – Zythum

for soprano, baritone, viola, banjo (doubling guitar), percussion and fixed audio

A depiction of all words appearing on the spines of the Oxford English Dictionary during its first publication period from 1884 – 1928. Two words that begin and end the dictionary, A; Zythum, frame this raucous accounting.



a song cycle in 21 breaths for baritone, shakuhachi and string quartet

Developed through an intensely collaborative process with the poet Charles Bernstein and initially ispired by the ethereal, breath-infused sounds of the shakuhachi. The libretto, divided into twenty-one sections, has thirteen distinct poems and seven text-less Breath Interludes.


Creación de las Aves

for solo piano

Inspired by the Remedios Varo painting and commissed by Mexican-American pianist Ana Cervantes as part of her visionary Monarca project.


Concerto for Active Frogs

for three instruments, chorus, bass/baritone soloist and fixed audio

Featuring a Folkways recording entitled “Sounds of North American Frogs” this work explores the inherent musicality of these ancient tailless amphibians.


Devil in the Belfry

for violin and piano

Taking Edgar Allen Poe’s allegorical tale of the same title this work explores tensions arising between different ways in which time is measured.


Empty Page

song two from ‘Radiant Depth Unfolded’ for soprano, baritone and piano or soprano and piano

Settings of texts by Jalal al-Din Rumi include ecstatic, every day, and esoteric poems.



for violin, piano and fixed audio

‘Fissure’ refers to the widening crack splitting the doomed house in Edgar Allan Poe’s story, Fall of the House of Usher, leading to the collapse of the house into the tarn. The characters Roderick and Madeline are lightly sketched into the player’s parts.



for violin solo

Commissioned by the Montecito Music Festival and dedicated to violinist Ivry Gitlis and referencing his favourite composition, the Adagio movement from J.S.Bach’s ‘Violin Concerto No. 2’. A graphically notated twin to ‘Four’



for violin solo

The more literal version of its graphically notated fraternal twin, ‘Fore’. Commissioned to honor the renowned violinist Ivry Gitlis, referencing his favourite composition, the Adagio movement from J.S.Bach’s ‘Violin Concerto No. 2’



for solo harp

A concert theater work that weaves a personal encounter with a haunted harp into a flexible structure built on the Five Elements, integral to the practice of feng shui.


Is Money Money

for soprano, clarinet in Bb, bass clarinet, viola, violoncello and double bass

Setting of pithy observations about money by Gertrude Stein


Kaleidoscopic Bach

for solo piano

Combining disassociated micro-quotes with a series of non-resolving suspensions extracted from J.S. Bach’s Invention and Sinfonia No. 9. A centrifugal redo of the Bach results in a controlled chaos inflected with Anne LeBaron’s own compositional elements.


Phillip Neil Martin

‘And Then…’

for baritone and piano

Setting of poem by Federico Garciá Lorca



for oboe, bassoon and piano

Built upon the basic lattice of a Scherzo and Trio movement ‘Constellations’ is a piece consisting of fast linear modal passages, juxtaposed with quieter, richer, iridescent moments.


Patrick Nunn


for solo double bass

An extensive reworking of the original 2006 score, based on pitch materials derived from Paganini\s twenty-four ‘Capricci’ for solo violin.


Mario Pagotto

Ricercari Di Bravura

for two harps

Combining virtuosic technical aspects with a new expressive capacity.


Lynne Plowman


for flute solo

Commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for their ‘Postcards from Composers’ series during the COVID-19 lockdown.


Camden Reeves

Songs of Enchantment

Two Settings of Clark Ashton Smith for female voice and piano

Settings of two texts by Clark Ashton Smith offering contrasting meditations on time and space. ‘Desire of Vastness’ captures what it is like to stare into the darkness of the infinite void with wonder, longing and terror. In ‘Harmony’, one stares again and instead finds peace and tranquillity.


Susannah Self

Christmas Gifts (SATB version)

for SATB choir and piano or organ

Setting of text by S. Self, after Chapter 2 “The Christmas Holidays” of The Mill on the Floss by George Eliott.


Christmas Gifts (SSA version)

for SSA choir and piano or organ

Setting of text by S. Self, after Chapter 2 “The Christmas Holidays” of The Mill on the Floss by George Eliott.


Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

for SATB choir and organ


Linda Catlin Smith

Low Tide

for accordion solo

A continuously varying melody, sometimes chordal, sometimes single notes, like a line of shells and seaweed left by the tide


Orient Point

for string orchestra

Composed having in mind the easternmost tip of Long Island in New York – Orient Point.


Small House

for accordion solo

For Branko Džinović.


Ian Stephens


for mixed choir, unison choir and body percussion

Commissioned by Finchley Children’s Music Group for their Summer Course 2020, ‘Hummingbird’ is for a choir of humming singers.


Jack Van Zandt


a 12-tone chaconne for flute, oboe, clarinet in Bb, bassoon, horn in F, trumpet, trombone and double bass

Inspired by, and composed as a companion piece to, Varese’s Octandre and Alexander Goehr’s Lyric Pieces, op. 35. It’s chaconne style repeating harmonic pattern is based on a 12-tone theme that appears in different parts of the texture as the piece progresses though several variations.


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