Lady Beverley's Chamber (SnoDDTrTrTTBBGtBCtB)
MHE 10117 £19.00
From the Windoe
Myrorym - was it a rat I saw?
Lady Beverley, her Dreame
I wrote this piece at the request of Helen Hooker, for the use of the chamber recorder orchestra at the 2017 Recorder Summer School. Although the suite was written with a one-to-a-part orchestra in mind, it could be played by a larger group. The 2017 Summer School took place near Beverley, hence explaining the rather punning title. Although the music stands on its own two feet, it may be of interest to know that, while writing the music, I did develop a little story from the title. The story suggests three episodes in a single evening in the life of Lady Beverley, the action taking place in her chamber, some hundreds of years ago. The titles of the movements make oblique reference to these episodes. This is quite difficult music, with a total playing time of about thirteen minutes.
Two Settings of Da Pacem Domine (Lassus) (TTBBGtBCtB(opt)SubCtB)
MHE 10416 £9.00
Da Pacem Nobis 1582
Da Pacem Nobis 1556
I made these arrangements for the first season of the Mellow Tones Recorder Orchestra – the eight-foot orchestra set up and conducted by Helen Hooker. For the uninitiated, the smallest instrument included in an eight-foot recorder orchestra is the tenor, and such a group makes a wonderfully mellow sound. I thought that the two settings of Da Pacem Domine by Lassus would give the orchestra an opportunity to play something of great beauty. The total playing time of these settings is four minutes at the marked speeds. but the pieces also work extremely well when played more slowly.
A Policeman's Lot (DTrTrTBGtBCtB(opt)SubCtB)
MHE 10616 £7.50
Like most contrabass sections, the one in Helen Hooker’s Thames Valley Recorder Orchestra sometimes feels that its crucial role in the band can sometimes be under-appreciated! One of their number, Gillian Cooke, suggested that I arrange this famous number from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, a challenge I was pleased to rise to! The subcontrabass part is not essential, but is very nice to have. By the way, if you are looking for a recording of this number, it might be helpful to know that its official title’ is ‘When a Felon’s Not Engaged In His Employment’
ROSEMARY ROBINSON The Hayes Suite (DTrTB)
MHE 10716 £9.50
‘The Hayes Suite' was written for use on the 2016 Easter Recorder Course. The piece is so named because the course was held at The Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire. Total playing time is about eight minutes.
The Hoddesdon Suite (Spinet DTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 11116 £16.50
By 2016 I had been involved in several performances featuring recorder ensembles together with the spinet playing of Rosemary Robinson, including Rosemary’s own marvellous Divertimento. I was inspired by the gorgeous sound of spinet and recorders, and wrote my three-movement Hoddesdon Suite for a performance at the Autumn Recorder Orchestra Weekend held in November 2016 in Hoddesdon, near Hertford. The soloist, naturally enough, was Rosemary, and my suite is dedicated to her. The orchestral parts of this eleven-minute piece are of no more than moderate difficulty.
Two Pieces by Pietro Mascagni (DTrTrTTBBGtBCtB)
MHE 20117 £7.50
Prologue to Zanetto
Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
The Italian Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) was primarily a composer of opera. His best-known work was (and is) Cavalleria Rusticana, although in his day many of his other operas were frequently performed, especially in Italy. The first of these two pieces is the prologue to Zanetto; we believe the first arrangement of it made for recorders. The other is Mascagni’s ‘greatest hit’ – the intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana. Our arrangement attempts to render the orchestral parts idiomatic on the recorder, to the benefit of this smooth and powerful music. Total playing time is about six minutes.
Mellow Introduction and Fugue (TTBBGtBCtB(opt)SubCtB)
MHE 20416 £9.00
I wrote this piece for the first meetings of a new venture by Helen Hooker - the Mellow Tones Recorder Orchestra, an eight-foot orchestra set up and conducted by Helen. An eight-foot recorder orchestra has tenors as the top line, descending to contrabasses, or even lower if those very rare instruments are available. My piece has a slow and mellow introduction, which is arguably the comfort zone of an eight-foot band. But then the fugue is jazzy and quite tricky, the intention being to provide an element of technical challenge for the new orchestra. Playing time is about five minutes.
Two Madrigals by Monteverdi (DDTrTB)
MHE 20716 £7.50
Se Tu Mi Lassi
Ti Spontò l'Ali, Amor
There is very little music by Claudio Monteverdi arranged for recorder. His many madrigals might seem a rich source of music for recorder players, but perhaps a snag is that, to get the best out of them, great flexibility is required in line with the words. I arranged these two pieces from Monteverdi’s second book of madrigals to use on the 2016 Rural Recorder Course, on which we studied the words carefully (in Italian, as well as in translation). Our objective was to get to a performance that at least hinted at the heart-on-sleeve drama of these forerunners of Italian opera. Quite a tall order for a few recorders, but I think we all learned a lot from the experience.
Two Motets by Giaches de Wert (DTrTTB)
MHE 30117 £7.00
Vox In Rama Audite Est
De Wert (1535-1596) was born in Flanders, but lived and worked in Italy for most of his life. He was (as is) best-known for his madrigals and motets, and these influenced the compositions of many composers, not least Monteverdi. I have arranged two motets, both setting sombre biblical texts. The music should be slow-moving and beautiful, and therein lies the challenge for recorder ensembles. Total performance time is about eight minutes.