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for solo piano

dedicated to Ralph van Raat

duration c. 10'

first performance: recording for Naxos, March 2010

Note : Ramble on Cortina

Ramble on Cortina

The term "Ramble" comes from Percy Grainger who I have always admired both as composer and pianist. He uses it for the kind of piece that other composers might have called a "Paraphrase" - his most notable exercise in this genre being the remarkable Ramble on Love, based on themes from Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. 

This "Ramble" is based on themes from my vocal laude, which derive from13th century manuscripts found in Cortona, Italy. Parts of this piece come from a short set of three variations on one of my laude (Lauda 13 " Stomme Allegro) that I wrote for students at the 2003 Victoria Piano Summer School in Canada. I revised this material and added more parts to the work - alluding to other laude - shortly after I had written my Piano Concerto (The Solway Canal) for Ralph van Raat. It is, effectively, my first piece for solo piano. It is dedicated to Ralph van Raat.



Duration: 10’
Instrumentation: 2 pianos (6 hands).
First performance: ICA London, 4 February 1979.

Note : Ramsey's Lamp (1979)

Ramsey's Lamp (1979)

This piece, for two pianos 6 or 8 hands, was written in memory of my first teacher Cyril Ramsey who had died the previous summer, almost the same day as my mother's second husband, Dr. Appleton. Both died in foreign places - Dr. Ramsey in Canada, my stepfather in a ship near Leningrad. Cyril Ramsey was a very enlightened teacher, and spoke with me about the music of Satie, about John Cage (an unusual subject in Goole in the late 1950's) and he had studied with Eric Fenby, which linked him with the music of Delius. At the same time, he was a ferocious pianist and a man of extraordinary energy, who would start his music classes by racing up several flights of stairs, leaping to the piano stool and roaring into the opening of Schubert's Erlkönig.   It was this Graingeresque quality which I chose to point to, especially to the piece Gay but Wistful from the In a Nutshell suite. The title refers, of course, to Dr. Ramsey as a source of illumination. It was first performed by myself with Dave Smith and John White at the ICA, London in February 1979

for String Orchestra ( preferred; minimum).

Arrangement of Third String Quartet for orchestra, for the ballet Reverence by David Dawson

First performance Netherlands National Ballet, Amsterdam, April 7 2010

Conductor Ermanno Florio

Medea Act 1 scene A (new opening scene)
First performance (new revised version); Tramway, Glasgow, November 3rd 1995
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conductor Martyn Brabbins

Solo double bass and piano
Dedicated to my son Yuri
Duration c. 3'
Commissioned for publication by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)

for six voices (three sopranos, three tenors), or SSATTBar
Text: Petrarch
Duration c. 70’
Dedication: John Potter
First Performance (of 4) Trio Mediaeval Sextet, Norway April 2002;
first complete performance Yorvox, Cambridge July 19th 2002

Note : Second Book of Madrigals (published ED 12786)

Second Book of Madrigals (published ED 12786)

  1. Benedetto sia 'l giorno (SSATTBar)
  2. Io son già stanco (SSATTBar)
  3. Quando dal proprio sito / Ma poi che 'l dolce riso (SSATTBar)
  4. Poi che voi et io (SSATTBar)
  5. Non veggio ove scamper (SSATTBar)
  6. Ponmi ove 'l sole (SSATTBar)
  7. Non Tesin, Po, Varo (SSATTBar)
  8. I' vidi in terra angelici (SSATTBar)
  9. O passi sparsi (SSATTBar)
  10. Una candida cerva sopra l'erba (SSATTBar)
  11. Che fai? Che pensi? (SSATTBar)
  12. Amor, che meco al buon tempo ti stavi (SSATTBar)
  13. Fu forse un tempo dolce (SSATTBar)
  14. Morte à spento (SSATTBar)

Marconi's Madrigal: Se 'l sasso ond' è più chiusa questa valle (SSSTTT and percussion)

Instrumentation: speaking voices, tape
Duration: indeterminate
Published in EMC Verbal Anthology.
First performance: Portsmouth College of Art, 14 January 1970.

Duration: 20’
Instrumentation: 4 pianos
First performance: Castello Sforzesca, Milan, 23 June 1979.

Duration c.15'
Instrumentation piano(s)
Written for dance by Christine Juffs (Dance Work)

Text: Edwin Morgan
Duration: c. 6'
Male Choir
First performance Estonia Symphony Hall, Tallinn April 6
Estonian National Male Choir, conductor Kaspars Putnins

Note : Text of Silva Caledonia

Text of Silva Caledonia

The darkness deepens, and the woods are long.

We shall never see any stars. We thought

we heard a horn a while back, faintly brought

through barks and howls, the nearest to a song

you ever heard in these grey dripping glens.

But if there were hunters, we saw not one.

Are there bears? Mist. Wolves? Peat. Is there a sun?

Where are the eyes that should peer from those dens?

Marsh-lights, yes, mushroom-banks, leaf-mould, rank ferns,

and up above, a sense of wings, of flight,

of clattering, of calls through fog. Yet men,

going about invisible concerns,

are here, and our immoderate delight

waits to see them, and hear them speak, again.


Text: Edwin Morgan