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SUSSEX CENTENARY OVERTURE
This work was written for a Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate (as the title suggests) the centenary of the County of Sussex. I conducted the first performance myself which was given by the East Sussex Wind Orchestra, which I co-founded and co-directed.
The character of the piece is very much one of exuberant celebration. After a short fanfare-like opening the first subject appears on the clarinets. The second subject, a lyrical theme, immediately follows in the woodwind but with the momentum maintained by a continuous quaver accompaniment shared between trumpets and stopped horns. This builds to a tutti statement of the first theme Then follows a ritualistic section in which the timpani feature strongly. Changing rhythm patterns keep the piece driving forward until the second theme reappears played by the brass section with rippling woodwind support. A restatement of the initial fanfare leads to a fugue based on he first subject with a rhythmically diminished version of the ritualistic theme as the counter-subject. The fugue culminates in a tutti recap of the first subject. The second theme now resurfaces as a Walton-esque processional leading to a final flourish of the first subject which drives the work to a rousing finish. Approximate duration 5 minutes Price: £40.00
1) Mad Hare March; 2) Latin Twitch; 3) Anarchic Polka
This piece burlesques three of the forms commonly found in the wind band repertoire. Mad Hare March should remind the listener of every military march they have ever heard. Its use of marching band clichés culminates in a final section where the three main themes are sounded simultaneously. One of the clichés, very popular in a wide variety of band music and which appears in all three movements of this suite, is the drawn out building of a large dominant 7th chord. Latin Twitch takes the mixing of 2 and 3 note groupings commonly found in latin rhythms (e.g.: Beguine and Bossa Nova) and takes that device one step further resulting in 5/8 and 7/8 bars scattered through the piece. There is also extensive use of slightly over-the-top percussion effects. Anarchic Polka bears the subtitle, “With no apology whatsoever to Johann Strauss”. Strauss was regularly asked to provide appropriate new pieces for functions at which his orchestra was performing. This often resulted in unusual percussion sounds such as train whistles, muskets, popping corks or whips. My polka includes a loud Metallic Clang which, at the first performance, was achieved by hitting the brake-drum of an old Hillman Minx with a club hammer. The effect of this was to almost drown out the rest of the band, – which was the general idea! Approximate duration 8’30” Price: £49.00
CONCERTO for Oboe and Wind Orchestra
The oboe can be all too easily overwhelmed by a large wind ensemble so I have taken a leaf from the book of the Baroque and early Classical composers sometimes using the oboe in a solo role, sometimes as part of a small concertante group (usually with upper woodwind and/or bassoons) and sometimes as part of the overall texture. Despite this approach, I have tried to write a piece very much in the wind band idiom and not just try to recreate another Marcello or Mozart concerto.
The first movement opens in F major and immediately introduces the main motif, a leap of a minor ninth falling back to the octave. The rhythmic pattern of the opening bars also plays a major part throughout the whole work. The second subject, initially in A minor, is soon introduced over a pulsing rhythm on muted trumpets and stopped horns. The material from both subjects is then developed in a variety of ways before leading into a fairly substantial cadenza for the solo oboe. The movement ends with a flourish.
The second movement is in ternary form. The first section in F minor is based on a short elegy which I wrote after the death, in the summer of 2001, of Sidney Sutcliffe, to whom the work is dedicated. Jock (as he was universally known) was my teacher at the RCM and became a very close friend in subsequent years. The elegy was originally meant simply for my own private use but when I came to write the concerto it seemed like a nice idea to use it and dedicate the whole work to Jock. The central contrasting section of the movement is much perkier, even slightly jokey. It consists of contrapuntal writing over fairly static harmonies and includes a short fugal section leading back into a recap of the elegiac section, now in C minor and more lightly scored. Only woodwind, double bass and some light percussion are used in the scoring of this movement.
The third movement is a flamboyant rondo in compound time beginning in C major. Energetic passage-work and occasional short cadenzas give the soloist the opportunity to show off as the work fizzes to its conclusion in the original key of F major.
Approximate duration 13 minutes Price: £57.00
SUSSEX SLEIGH RIDE
This piece is a transcription of one section of a suite for Woodwind Ensemble commissioned byBerkshire Young Musicians’ Trust. The original work, Seasonal Sketches, had four movements, September Stroll, Snowfall and Sleigh Ride, Spring Waltz and Summer Holiday. Although the percussion is scored for 2 Wood Blocks, Jingles and Whip, any other suitable sleigh ride type effects may be added. Approximate duration 2’30” Price: £9.95
Originally written for orchestra this work was commissioned by Southern Arts for Reading Symphony Orchestra and conducted in its first performance by Andrew Parrott. It was based on the poem of the same name by Christina Rossetti. The first four woodwind chords, which set the initial atmosphere, are heard in different scoring at the beginning of each main section of the work. The material in the opening section relates to the two sisters around whom the story is based. Then we hear the arrival of the goblins at letter C. This leads into a section alternating 3/4 and 3/8 bars representing the appearance of the goblins as they are described in the poem. A slow melancholic section follows before the return of the goblins. The final section reprises the opening section of the work. The piece ends in an atmosphere of calm.
Approximate duration 13 minutes Price: £57.00
This piece for intermediate wind band was composed for the 20th anniversary of the Crowborough Area Music Centre in East Sussex. I was the first Director of the music centre, starting it up and nurturing it through the first 5 years of its existence. I was invited back to attend the 20th anniversary concert and so I wrote this short piece in honour of the occasion.
Approximate duration 2 minutes Price: £9.95
GOLDEN FANFARE for Concert Band Brass & Percussion
This work was written for the 50th Anniversary of Crawley New Town and performed at both the Hawth Theatre and at the Tilgate Prom. Approximate duration 2 minutes Price: £7.70
This four movement orchestral suite was composed for the South Downs Youth Orchestra who gave the first performance in Lewes in June 2008. Each movement depicts some aspect of the life of the East Sussex County Town.
1) Lewes awakes
Early morning, and the people of Lewes head for their places of work or study. An intermittent ground base figure (mainly on pizzicato cellos and basses) represents the repetitive daily journeys made by the town’s residents as they follow the same morning routine. Two outbursts of road rage can be heard as tempers fray. The movement settles to its ending as the working day begins.
2) A hot day on the Downs
The sun beats down on the exposed Sussex Downland. As the temperature rises the air becomes more sultry. The scoring thickens with the growing heat before relaxing into the relative cool of the evening.
This hymn-like lament commemorates the martyrs burned at the stake in the town. The simple statement of the main theme on clarinets and bassoons at the beginning grows into a full orchestral setting before the atmosphere of lament returns at the end of the movement.
All the noise and excitement of ‘Bonfire’. Lewes heaves with visitors as the evening celebrations get into full swing. The percussion section features very strongly here recreating firework sounds. There is a cadenza for percussion at the end of this movement which may be enhanced by other members of the orchestra firing off party-poppers.
Approximate duration 12 minutes Price: £57.00
PARTITA FOR 2 OBOES & STRINGS
This is a generally light and exuberant piece written for a celebration concert in Uckfield to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The 5 movements are: 1) Prelude; 2) Nocturne; 3) Waltz; 4) Siciliana;
5) Hoedown. Approximate duration 9 minutes Price: £19.95
CONCERTO for Oboe & Strings (Telemann arr. Hinchliffe)This is a realization for Oboe & Strings of the popular Sonata in A Minor. Approximate duration 7’30” Price: £15.70
Commissioned by the Berkshire Young Musicians Trust, this piece for Woodwind Ensemble has four movements: 1) September Stroll; 2) Snowfall & Sleigh Ride; 3) Spring Waltz; 4) Summer Holiday. The work is in a light-hearted vein and is suitable for players of an intermediate standard. Scoring:-3 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 4 Bb Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Alto Sax’s, 1 Tenor Sax & 2 Bassoons.
Duration approximately 10 minutes Price: £20.00
Composed for a South Downs Music Centre concert in East Sussex, this piece was first performed at The Dome in Brighton. The three dances are: 1) Beguine; 2) Waltz; 3) Polka. Scoring:-2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 3 Bb Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone & Bassoon. Approximate duration: 4’30” Price: £14.95
THREE MORE DANCES
As you would guess, this piece was written as a sequel to the above work. Having heard the Mid-Sussex Intermediate Woodwind Ensemble give an excellent performance of the earlier work I wrote this especially for them. The three dances in this ensemble are: 1) Swing; 2) Landler; 3) Jig.
Scoring:-2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 3 Bb Clarinets, Alto Saxophone & Bass Clarinet.
Approximate duration: 4’15” Price: £14.95
CHRISTMAS PIECE (with Solo Alto Saxophone)
This piece expresses the more reflective side of Christmas contrasting well with the jolly and “jingly” repertoire prevalent at that time of year. Scoring: Solo Alto Saxophone, 3 Flutes, 1 Oboe, 3 Bb Clarinets & 1 Bass Clarinet. Approximate duration 4’15” Price: £14.95
Having run many woodwind ensembles myself over the years, I know how difficult it can be to find music to fit the particular group of instruments that you have available. It can be so frustrating to find a piece which seems to fit perfectly the group and standard you are looking for, only to have one vital instrument in the arrangement not available to you; – or, on the other hand, you end up cobbling together parts for instruments you do have which are not in the original score. All my pieces were written to meet the instrumentation of specific groups. With this in mind, for just double the purchase price of any of these woodwind ensembles I will tailor the piece to fit your particular requirements – within reason! If you would like to avail yourself of this service please ring me or send an email stating exactly what your needs are and I will let you know whether I can adapt the piece appropriately.
The following 5 pieces are light-hearted works for mixed-ability double reed ensembles. In the style of concerti grossi they have a solo group of 4 players with parts for any number of players of a wide range of abilities. In Nos. 1 & 2 the solo group consists of 3 Oboes & Cor Anglais. In the others the solo group is 2 Oboes, Cor Anglais & Bassoon. The pieces were all written for ‘mass play-ins’ on Double Reed days.
Each piece is priced at £10 a set
Concerto Grotto No.5 (Bossa Nova)
The following 3 pieces can be played by a trio of intermediate flautists or by a larger group. In addition to the 3 main parts there are 3 other parts of different standards, – one fairly easy, one intermediate and one more demanding. The pieces may be used separately or performed as a three movement suite.
Each piece is priced at £6 a set
Set of Parts
All the works on this page are supplied with a full score and one copy of each instrumental part. They also come with my full permission to copy parts as necessary to meet the requirements of your particular group of players.
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Double Reed Thing for Double Reed Ensemble (Warwick Music)
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