G

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Opera in 2 Acts, with Prologue and Epilogue
Libretto: Blake Morrison
Duration c. 2hours 30’
Dedication: Sandy Brown
16 soloists (2 sopranos, 2 mezzo sopranos, counter tenor, 2 tenors, 4 baritones, 3 bass baritones, 2 basses. 4 of these parts may be taken by choral soloist)
Chorus (S.A.T.Bar.B.)
Orchestra
2 flutes (both doubling piccolo); 3 cor anglais (1 doubling oboe, 1 doubling oboe d’amore)
1 clarinet (doubling E flat); bass clarinet; 2 bassoons; contrabassoon
5 horns (four doubling Wagner tubas)
2 trombones (both doubling alto); bass trombone; tuba
timpani; percussion (2 players)
harp; celeste/ harpsichord (one player)
strings (14.11.8.7.5)
First performance: Staats Theater Mainz, February 23rd 2002, designer Rosalie, Director Georges Delnon, conductor Gernot Sahler



Work for unaccompanied solo bass voice

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Note : Gallus et Agnus (After Demantius)

Gallus et Agnus (After Demantius)

The piece was written for Clive Birch, bass in the Australian vocal ensemble The Song Company, at the suggestion of the group's director Roland Peelman. It was to be placed in the short break between Demantius' St John Passion and David Lang's The Little Match Girl, during which the group had three minutes to get into costume. As there is no part for bass voice in the second work, this short piece formed a kind of bridge. The first text (Gallus) takes the passage of Peter's three denials of Christ linked to the cock crowing, which is abbreviated in the Demantius setting, while the second (Agnus) sets Jesus' reinstatement of Peter after the Resurrection through his three-fold injunction to "feed my lambs".

As Clive Birch was retiring from the group after this performance, it formed a kind of retirement gift.

 

 



(text by Pico della Mirandola)
Duration 15’
Dedicated to Frances Barber and Neil Pearson.
Commissioned by the Hilliard Ensemble
Instrumentation: 4 voices (alto, 2 tenors, baritone)
First performance: Hilliard Festival of Voices, Lewes, August 1988.

Note : Glorious Hill (1988)

Glorious Hill (1988)

Glorious Hill was commissioned by the Hilliard Ensemble and first performed by them at its summer Festival of Voices in Lewes, Sussex, in August 1988. It was the first piece I wrote for the ensemble and I focused on the singers' unique ability to move with ease from early music to tonal music of the present day. There were techniques which I asked for which I hardly needed to notate - the staggered breathing of the two tenors to supply a continuous unbroken held note for example - and the piece moves between passages for solo voices and sections of highly chromatic homophony, almost as if the music were switching between the 12th century of Perotin and the 16th century of Gesualdo. Each of the four voices is given its own solo passage - sometimes accompanied, sometimes quietly supported by the other voices.

The title, Glorious Hill comes from the name of the small-town Mississippi setting of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke. I wrote the music for the 1987 production of this play at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre, the first time I had written any incidental music for the stage. Williams makes very specific demands in terms of music and there is one particularly powerful scene, the penultimate one, throughout which music and atmospheric sound effects are continuous. The principle character Alma argues passionately about the vital importance of human choice with the man to whom she has, too late, admitted her love. I watched this section every night throughout the 4 week run of the play watching the different ways in which the actress, Frances Barber, played the scene. There is a powerful emotional and philosophical connection between the imagery of this scene and a passage from the Renaissance philosopher Pico della Mirandola's Oration on the Dignity of Man which forms the text of Glorious Hill. This passage has been described as one of the few passages in Renaissance philosophy to treat human freedom in a modern way. The text, which is sung in Latin, is addressed by God to Adam before the fall from grace.

Dedicated to Frances Barber and Neil Pearson

 

 



First performance Estonia Symphony Hall, Tallinn April 6
Estonian National Male Choir, conductor Kaspars Putnins



Duration c. 7’
Dedication: St John the Baptist Church Billesdon
Instrumentation: solo organ
First performance: Christopher Bowers-Broadbent, St. John the Baptist Church, Billesdon, July 12th 2001