selected Solo works

But When I Sleep (1987) for solo viola

But When I Sleep is a response to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 43:

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,

For all the day they view things unrespected.

But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee….

 

As the sonnet is full of antitheses [opposites], I have used pairs of intervals to mimic this device. The viola is muted throughout this very short piece.

Variations (1987) for solo piano

These Variations are based on the concept of Beethoven's 32 variations in C Minor. In Beethoven's work, all the variations are eight bars long, without any changes of tempi or time signature. Each variation is complete in itself, but the variations are carefully grouped and juxtaposed to have a cumulative effect. His individual varations are always very clearly connected with the original theme, both melodically and harmonically. Rather than occupying himself solely with decoration of the original melody, Beethoven's concern was with piano figuration and technique. 

Solo, from the Judas Tree (1993) for solo steel pan

 

The Judas Tree, which was commissioned by the Royal Opera House for Sir Kenneth MacMillan and the Royal Ballet, was completed in July 1991 and was first performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in March 1992. 

The music for this Solo incorporates the main solo for steel pan form the score (Variation 5), as well as including the rearranging material form different parts of the piece, notably the large slow section. 

I am greatly indebted to Simon Limbrick, who gave me much invaluable help and advice in preparing not only the original material, but also this Solo, which he persuaded me to write. 

Solo was first performed by Simon Limbrick at Darlington School of Music in August 1993. 

Moto Perpetuo (1995) for solo piano.

Commissioned by Thaila Myers as part of SPECTRUM project with funds from The Arts Council of England, The Holst Foundation and The Britten-Pears Foundation.

Of Elutropia (1982) for solo violoncello

ELUTROPIA is a gemme, in colour greene, or grassie, in part coloured and bespotted with Purple speckes and bloud coloured vaines. This is a marvellous Jugler, for it wil cause things object to be presented to our eies as it listeth. It being put into a Basan of water chaungeath to a mans eiesight the Sunne his beames, and giveth them a contrarie colour. Being also mooved and beaten in the ayre, maketh to appeare a bloudie Sunne, and darkneth the ayre in maner of an Eclipse: and therefore it is called ELUTROPIA as you would say, the Sunne his enemie…

John Maplet (d.1592)

Arioso (2019) for solo baritone saxophone

Grove’s Dictionary defines Arioso as “Italian. Like an aria, melodious. A singing as opposed to a declamatory style of performance: a short passage in a regular tempo in the middle of a recitative”. I have used this operatic convention, sometimes employed in instrumental music, as an idea for the form of this short piece for unaccompanied baritone saxophone; the music alternates between lyrical and quasi-recitativo sections.

Arioso was written to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Academy of Music. The piece lasts approximately 7 minutes and is dedicated to David Zucchi.

Piece (1970) for solo violoncello

Five Pieces for the right hand (1969) for solo piano

These five piano pieces were written in 1969. They were composed as an exercise in limitation and the decision to write for one hand only was a consequence of this. The five pieces together last about two and a half minutes. The first is the longest and the rest get progressively shorter: the fifth contains elements from the preceding four. 

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