Sinfonietta No 3 (DTrTB)
MHE 20122 £11.00
Nowadays there are many substantial pieces for large groups of recorders - for example there is no shortage of recorder orchestra symphonies. What many substantial pieces have in common is that they are difficult to play and that they are written in many parts. I wanted to break this particular mould and write a symphonic piece that could be tackled by players of modest ability. My third sinfonietta is the result. It has found favour by the players I was aiming it at, and it seems to me that the four movements work together somewhat like an early symphony. Well, at any rate its eight-minute duration is similar to some early Haydn symphonies! The piece is also available with the addition of big basses, as MHE 20122a.
Tota Pulchra Es (Bruckner) (TBGtBCtB)
MHE 20522 £6.00
Bruckner composed this sacred motet in 1878, and it is a beautiful piece with stirring chords and dramatic dynamics. Steve's arrangement of ‘Tota Pulchra Es’ is for an eight-foot group, and an additional contrabass in C, while not essential, would also be beneficial in providing some nice low E’s. Especially at the slow speed, the piece is not easy to play, but with careful attention to tongueing and breathing it is marvellous stuff!
Two Motets by Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (TBGtBCtB)
MHE 40522 £8.00
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Velum Templi Scissum Est
Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (1590 – 1664) was Spanish, but moved permanently to Pueblo in Mexico in 1620. At that time Pueblo was a large religious centre and Padilla was a major figure there. Little of Padilla’s music is now available, but these two motets are lovely, especially so on the bigger instruments. An (optional) part is provided for contrabass in C.
Jazz Fugue and Postlude (TBGtBCtB)
MHE 60522 £11.00
I wrote this pair of pieces, not at the request of anyone, but simply to enjoy myself. I thought that I would write a fugue in a jazz style, using the bigger recorders. When that was nearly finished I decided to add a short and fast second piece, which had a similar theme to that of the first - a sort of reversed Prelude and Fugue. The piece requires good command of swung quavers, and is sometimes quite fast. Although it's not easy, it provides a good work-out for good players of the bigger instruments. Playing time is about six minutes.
Taking Centre Stage (DTrTB)
MHE 61120 £10.50
The Calm Tenor of Life
Go on, Lend us a Tenor
Love me Tenor
Ann and I wrote this set of pieces for a course at an easier intermediate playing standard. There were a lot of tenor players on the course, so we thought that with that safety in numbers we could write tenor parts that were rather harder and rather more exposed than tenor parts tend to be at that level. The tenors would hence take centre stage. There are four pieces in this eight-minute suite.
On Quiet Reflection (DTrTB)
MHE 90121 £6.50
I wrote this piece for the quartet ‘I Flautisti’. The group is rather virtuosic, but they had already recorded one of my easy and gentle Pavans, and I wanted to write something else to showcase their beautiful sound. The notes in ‘On Quiet Reflection’ are not particularly difficult but it will need good breath control to pull off this five-minute piece well. A version for recorder orchestra is also available as MHE 90121a.
Four Winter Pieces (DTrTB)
MHE 40903a £4.50
These short but attractive pieces are suitable for groups of modest ability, involving no high notes and very few accidentals. They are also available as a trio (MHE 40903), for either SnoDD or TrTT.
Redland Blues (DTrTB)
MHE 60603 £4.50
A light and easy blues which leaves space for improvised solos. Useful for beginner improvisers, and also useful for groups looking for something a bit different.
Send Three-and-Fourpence (SnoTrBCtB)
MHE 20807 £4.50
This short (3 minute) piece consists of echoes of short musical phrases. It involves some improvisation, and a lot of listening to one another. It may sound unpromising, but it's fun to play and interesting for the audience. The first performance was given in the course concert at the Recorder Summer School in August 2007, by Andrew Meville, Fiona Sneyd, Berenice Styles and myself. The title comes from the instruction 'send reinforcements, we're going to advance', which was allegedly misheard as 'send three-and-fourpence, we're going to a dance'. Because of the improvisation content, there is no sound file for this piece.
Prelude & Fugue in C (DTrTB)
MHE 20703 £5.00
A gentle prelude and spiky fugue, peppered with dissonances. If you've always wanted to play recorder in the style of Shostakovich, this is for you!
Two Madrigals by Maddalena Casulana (DTrTB)
MHE 20810 £5.50
Morir Non Puo Il Mio Cuore
Il Vostro Dipartir
These are arrangements of two short and sad madrigals about lost love by the Italian composer, lute player and singer Maddalena Casulana (1540? - 1590?). These pieces were the first madrigals by a woman to be printed.
Prelude and Fugue No 3 (Clara Schumann) (DTrTB)
MHE 30910 £5.50
This is an arrangement of the third Prelude and Fugue by Clara Schumann (1819-1896), the German pianist, composer and teacher. She was one of the most eminent pianists of the 19th century, and respected in her own right, despite being the wife of the famous Robert Schumann. Playing time is about five minutes.
The Pied Piper (Tr solo, DTrTB + narrator)
MHE 80608 £5.50
I have taken the latter part of Robert Browning's famous poem of The Pied Piper (starting with the mayor's refusal to pay the Piper) and provided fairly straightforward music to go with it. A performance (which takes about 5 minutes) is hence rather in the manner of a story told with incidental music on the radio. It makes an unusual, but successful item at recorder playing sessions, as apart from anything else people enjoy the rarely-used discipline of coordinating their playing to the telling of a story. The storytelling can conveniently be done by the conductor.
Flying (D/Tr/T T/GtB GtB CtB)
MHE 30404 £5.50
A very unusual item - originally conceived as music to accompany a shadow theatre piece by Franzeska G Ewart. The quartet also works as a stand-alone tone poem which moves through several contrasting moods and instrumentations. This is a rather difficult piece, but quartets with the required instruments will find it an interesting addition to a programme.
Three Times Four (DTrTB optionalGtBCtB)
MHE 20708 £5.50
A piece in a minimalist style reminiscent of Arvo Pärt. The opening bars were written on the 2007 Northern Recorder Course at John Hawkes’ composition class, comprising Andrew Melville, Monique Pollet, Judith Railton and Berenice Styles. I subsequently extended it in the same vein, and added (entirely optional) big bass parts. The notes are very easy to play, and when they are well-controlled and nicely in tune this becomes a beautiful and atmospheric 4 minutes of music, particularly well suited to a resonant acoustic.
Chor der Engel (Schubert) (TBGtBCtB)
MHE 10220a £5.75
Schubert wrote his lovely Chor der Engel (Choir of Angels) in 1816, at the tender age of 19. The piece cries out for significant changes in dynamic, sometimes within a short time, and so it would seem to be unsuited to a recorder ensemble. But, undaunted, I made the arrangement to use at a playing session that was specifically devoted to how recorder ensembles can succeed with music in unlikely idioms. Chor der Engel worked well, especially at eight-foot, and I have continued to conduct it. It goes down well with players and audience alike.
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Gibbons) (DTrTB)
MHE 10213 £6.00
This is my arrangement of the beautiful Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Short Service) by Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625). Originally in Ab, it is now in the much more recorder-friendly key of G. For groups with the required instruments, playing this piece an octave lower (on tenor, bass, great bass and contrabass) is particularly rewarding. Total playing time is about six minutes.
From The Gartenlieder (Fanny Hensel) (DTrTB)
MHE 20910 £6.50
In The Evening Rustles The Forest
These are arrangements of three songs from 'The Gartenlieder', an 1846 collection of seventeen SATB choral songs by Fanny Hensel. Hensel was the sister of Felix Mendelssohn, and they were musically influential on one another. She composed over 500 works, but the vast majority of these still exist only in manuscript. These pieces are not difficult and an interesting introduction to the work of this unjustly neglected composer. English translations of the poems are given in the score.
The Theddingworth Set (DTrTB)
MHE 20113 £6.50
Ein Maidlein Zue Dem Brunnen Gieng
Chorale: Auf Meinen Lieben Gott
Chorale: Mit Ernst, O Menschenkinder
Canzonetta 'Viva Sempre in Ogni Etate'
I arranged the pieces for the Theddingworth Set for an Easy Recorder Playing for Adults in 2012, a course that took place at Hothorpe Hall, in the village of Theddingworth. The five pieces are all late Renaissance or early Baroque and are by composers from continental Europe. But what unites them most of all is that at modest speeds, they are straightforward to play and still work musically. After mastering them played slowly, they can be played more quickly. Also the range of each part is restricted – no instrument even has to play a three-fingers-pinched note.
Three Fugues by Johann Pachelbel (DTrTB)
MHE 10710 £6.50
Although best known today for his omnipresent 'Canon', Pachelbel was a prolific composer of all types of music and for all instrumental (and vocal) combinations. Among other achievements he wrote the largest collection of fugues of anyone of the generation just before J S Bach. These three fugues, originally for organ, are short and technically straightforward, but are interesting and stirring.
Four Easy Pieces by J S Bach (DTrTB)
MHE 10810 £6.50
O God, We Praise Thee And Adore Thee (BWV 322)
Wherefore Art Thou So Sad (BWV 516)
How Blest I Am (BWV 517)
By The Rivers Of Babylon (BWV 267)
These are arrangements of rarities - easy pieces by Bach! There are two chorales (in other words hymns) and two songs from Anna Magdalena's notebook, originally for voice and keyboard. A very easy descant 2 part is provided, which should be omitted if all descants are able to play the descant 1 part (which is itself quite straightforward). Total playing time is about six minutes.
Four Scenes From Hansel & Gretel (DTrTB)
MHE 50303 £6.50
The Edge of the Forest
Moonlight Through the Trees
The Gingerbread House
Pathways Through The Forest
Each piece 'features' a different size of recorder. Yes! - even the basses get the tune. Tuneful and easy. The only possible difficulty is for the trebles, who have some nimble tonguing in Pathways Through the Forest. Some of the musical ideas from this publication have been reworked for 'Hansel and Gretel in words and music' (MHE 10212).
Three French Nursery Rhymes (DTrTB)
MHE 30205a £6.50
Mon Âne, Mon Âne (My Donkey)
Au Claire De La Lune (In The Moonlight)
Mon Père M'a Donné Un Mari (My Father Gave Me A Husband)
Cheerful, fun and easy arrangements of nursery rhymes which are very well-known in France. A version including a voice is the next piece (MHE 30205).
Three French Nursery Rhymes (DTrTB + voice)
MHE 30205 £7.50
See the previous piece (MHE 30205a). The voice part in this version has a large range (from an F to the G over two octaves higher), but two people could share the line with a little ingenuity. The words are in French, but a translation is included.
Four Miniatures for Recorder Quartet (DTrTB)
MHE 30114 £7.50
The Four Miniatures are short sketches of different events, but it seems too pretentious to burden such straightforward music with artful titles - I will leave you to decide what they sound like! These small pieces for DTrTB quartet have a total playing time of about six minutes, and are easier to play than most of my other work.
Spirituals You Might Not Know (DTrTB)
MHE 10903 £6.50
The Hammer Song
Most people know Deep River and Down By The Riverside (and very good they are too), but this set contains three less-known but excellent spirituals, which may be new to you - Great Day, The Hammer Song and Hebrew Children. All bursting with rhythmic vitality (there are no soulful ballads in this set!). Not difficult to play. This set is also available with an added voice part; see the next piece (MHE 10903a).
More Spirituals You Might Not Know (DTrTB)
MHE 20107 £8.00
I Want To Be Ready
What Month Was Jesus Born In?
I've Been In The Storm So Long
Roll, Jordan Roll
A follow-on set to Spirituals You Might Not Know (MHE 10903), consisting of arrangements of four spirituals which are (mystifyingly) rarely performed.
Made In Wales (DTrTB optionalGtBCtB)
MHE 20408 £7.50
A Gentle Maiden In Secret Sighed
Owain Glyndŵr's War Song
Made In Wales comprises straightforward arrangements of three traditional songs from Wales. Total playing time is about 7 minutes.
Not Too Hard Really (DTrTB)
MHE 20804 £8.00
Fast & Light
Fairly easy pieces in musical idioms where the available music is often much more difficult. This is enjoyable music for players and audiences alike.
From 'The English Dancing Master' (DTrTB)
MHE 50113 £8.00
All In A Garden Green
The Old Mole
Drive The Cold Winter Away
'The English Dancing Master' was published in 1651, and contained the melodies to accompany 105 dances. The melodies were traditional, and were collected and published by John Playford. I arranged these five dances for the 2012 Easy Recorder Playing for Adults course, and so they are straightforward to play. But they are still great tunes, and even more advanced groups may find them entertaining, especially if they perform them briskly, perhaps with added percussion.
Four Pieces from the Cancionero de Upsala (DTrTB)
MHE 20509 £8.00
Estas Noches Atán Largas
Vi Los Barcos, Madre
Con Qué La Lavaré?
The Cancionero de Upsala is the single surviving copy of a book of Spanish music, which was printed in Venice in 1556. The book is now housed in the Uppsala (modern spelling) University Library in Sweden, possibly arriving there from Prague in the seventeenth century. Ann and Steve Marshall have chosen four pieces which alternate between plaintive and beautiful and vigorous and energetic.
Songs Without Words (DTrTB)
MHE 11210 £8.00
I wrote this suite to conduct at recorder meetings where the playing standard is modest. It still needs care to play the pieces well, but there are no difficult rhythms, no very high notes, and the keys are friendly. Total duration is about nine minutes.
Four Canons for Four Equal Voices (bass version) (BBBB)
MHE 10713 £8.50
There are plenty of pieces for all-treble groups but, so far, the upsurge of interest in playing bigger recorders has not yielded very many pieces for all-bass groups. These canons are my contribution to the cause. The total playing is about seven minutes. MHE 10713a is a re-arrangement of this set for tenors.
Four Canons for Four Equal Voices (tenor version) (TTTT)
MHE 10713a £8.50
There are plenty of pieces for all-treble groups but, so far, the upsurge of interest in playing bigger recorders has not yielded very many pieces for all-bass groups. My set of canons for such a group is published as MHE 10713. This set is a re-arrangement of the all-bass pieces for tenors or (if you insist!) descants. Total playing time is about seven minutes. For the sound files, please refer to the bass version.
Four Madrigals (DTrTB)
MHE 10618 £8.50
April is in my mistress' face
Autumn wears a golden shirt
In the 1970s and 80s I was primarily a composer of vocal music. I still enjoy writing such music, so I was delighted to be asked to write some madrigals. My starting-off point was ‘April is in my mistress’ face’ by Thomas Morley, where I reset his marvellously concise poem. Morley’s poem refers to months of the year, so I completed my set with three others poems that concern months or seasons. These poems are unpublished work by my wife Ann Marshall, a friend Caroline Clunies-Ross, and by myself. To make it easier for the madrigals to be performed by recorder ensembles, the alto part is presented as more convenient for treble recorder. Total performance time is about eight minutes.
Two Motets by Isabella Leonarda (DTrTB)
MHE 10910 £8.50
Ave Regina Coelorum
Alma Redemptoris Mater
These are arrangements of two motets by the Italian composer Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704). She was well-known and prolific (over 200 of her compositions survive), and we believe that her instrumental sonatas are the first published sonatas by a woman. Playing time is about eight minutes.
Mr Allerton's Booke of Musick (DTrTB)
MHE 21008 £8.50
His Pavan and Galliard, the First
His Pavan and Galliard, the Second
His Pavan and Galliard, the Third
These three Pavan and Galliard pairs are dedicated to Ashley Allerton, who has given enormous help to May Hill Edition over the years, not least in making our website very user-friendly. In some ways the pieces suggest music of yesteryear (complete with the odd hemiola), but in other ways they are quite modern. The third pavan is played by i Flautisti here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3k9985eYaA&list=PLBEBF57D81ABD9F61
The Thrill Of The Chase (DTrTB)
MHE 10908 £8.50
The Thrill Of The Chase comprises six canons for recorder quartet. Canons are interesting to play, as you chase the melody which has just been heard in other parts. They are also good for gaining confidence in holding your own part while others seem to be going their own way. Finally, strict canons like these (i.e. where all melodies are absolutely identical) are easily rehearsed because everyone can play their part at the same time, which produces a unison. Total playing time is about 10 minutes.
Four Canzonas by Banchieri (D(orTr)Tr(orT)TB)
MHE 20118 £9.00
Fantasia Quinta Decima
Seconda Sonata, Fuga Autentica in Arie Francese
Adriano Banchieri was born and died in Bologna. He played an important part in development of the madrigal, but was also well-known as a composer of the light and enormously popular canzonas and canzonettas. These four canzonas, all but one lively and brisk, demonstrate the style very well. There are few melodic ideas, but they tumble over one another with exciting effect. Total playing time is about five minutes, but the pieces also succeed at a less breakneck speed!
Concertino Omnibus (Tr solo, DTrTB)
MHE 10415 £9.00
I have written a fair few concerto-type pieces. Although the orchestral accompaniment varies in difficulty from quite easy to quite hard, what all of the pieces have in common is that the solo part is something of a challenge. Although a tricky solo part is only to be expected in a concerto, I wanted to break the mould and write a concerto where the solo part would be playable by a reasonable player, as opposed to a star! Then, with a straightforward orchestral accompaniment the piece would be within reach of a large number of ensembles. This three-movement, eight-minute concertino is the result, and it is dedicated to my wife Ann, who was the first soloist. Also available, MHE10415a is a version where the accompanying orchestra includes big basses, and MHE10415b is a version for treble recorder and piano.
Recorder Quartet No 1 (Pastoral) (DTTGtB)
MHE 10503 £9.00
Pieces with "pastoral" in the title are very often slow, gentle and pretty. But this three movement quartet paints some little pictures of a more bustling countryside, including a working farm and a fast-flowing stream. So it's not slow, it's not gentle, and you'll have to decide for yourselves whether it's pretty! This quartet is moderately difficult. Also available for SnoTrTrB; see the next piece (MHE 10503a).
Recorder Quartet No 1 (Pastoral) (SnoTrTrB)
MHE 10503a £9.00
See the previous piece (MHE 10503). The higher version may seem rather squeaky, but I have heard good reports from groups who have played it in this form!
Recorder Quartet No 2 (DTrTB)
MHE 11205 £8.50
Fast, rhythmic and jazzy - almost rocky - in the outer movements with insistent ostinati. The middle movement is a Passacaglia which is slower, but still quite a tempestuous affair. Not particularly difficult notes, but will probably need quite some work to get into the idiom.
Seven Miniatures for solo instrument and recorders (solo DTrTB)
MHE 20207 £9.50
A Short Drive In The Rain
Costa del Reggae
Custard Pie Fight
Dance with Big Sticks
These varied short pieces can be played successfully by quite a number of solo instruments. The two main requirements are an ability to play the range of C3 (that's the one below middle C) to Bb4, and to be loud enough to be heard against a group of recorders - in other words fairly low and fairly loud. Possibilities are hence a tenor saxophone, French horn, Eb horn, and that eternal standby the synthesiser. Parts for these instruments are included, but if you would like to use something else, and need a suitable part, please contact me. The music is of moderate difficulty only.
Hansel and Gretel, in words and music (DTrTB + narrator)
MHE 10212 £9.50
The House at the Edge of the Forest
Gathering White Pebbles
Moonlight Through the Trees
Locked in the House
The Beautiful Cottage
The Wicked Witch
Be He Fat or Be He Lean
They Lived Happily Ever After
I was delighted when Helen Hooker asked me to write a piece for her ensemble at the 2012 Recorder Summer School, and I tried to produce something rather out of the ordinary. This ‘piece’ tells the famous story of Hansel and Gretel. The story is read out, and there are nine musical interludes (only eight can fit on this website!) that illustrate key parts of the story. This music is quite unusual in places, but is not difficult to play. It takes about five minutes to read the text, and the music takes about nine minutes, so a complete performance makes an interesting quarter of an hour for players and audience alike. The relationship of this publication to my 'Four Scenes from Hansel and Gretel' (MHE 50303) is that some of the musical ideas from that earlier piece have been reworked here.
Five Tudor Anthems (DTrTBoptGtBoptCtB)
MHE 81109 £10.00
If Ye Love Me (Tallis)
O Praise The Lord (Batten)
Almighty and Everlasting God (Gibbons)
Gloria Patri (Tallis)
Let Thy Merciful Ears (Mudd)
These anthems are by giants of the day (Tallis and Gibbons) and also by lesser-known figures (Batten and Mudd). Irrespective of the original forces, these pieces have been rearranged for a six-part recorder orchestra. They are not straight transcriptions, but arrangements which take advantage of the colours possible with such an orchestra group. The great and contra parts may, however, be omitted if these instruments are not available. Beautiful music which is easy to play.
Out Of The Wood Of Thoughts (DTrTB + narrator)
MHE 10404a £10.00
This 15 minute piece comprises a sequence of eight poems by Edward Thomas, in and around which is woven music for recorder quartet. The music is often quite slow, and the notes are not difficult, but the piece is nevertheless a challenge in terms of obtaining excellent tuning and a beautiful sound.
Concertino No 2 for Horn and Recorders (horn solo, DTrTB)
MHE 20406 £10.00
Introduction & Allegro
Knowing that I was going to be conducting a group which included the horn player Shirley Brown, I wrote this concertino so that we could explore the way that these very different instruments can work together. The 'orchestral' parts are quite straightforward, while the horn part is no more than moderately difficult. The solo part would work well on a tenor horn, and probably slightly less well on a tenor saxophone; please contact me if you would like a suitably transposed part.
Music That Counts (DTrTB)
MHE 10806 £10.50
Theme for Bodies and Recorders
Fingers & Feet Blues
One Step Beyond
Music That Counts puts the emphasis firmly on rhythm. The players are called on to clap, snap fingers, stamp their feet and count aloud, as well as play the recorder. In the easier pieces the non-recorder activities are often separate from the recorder playing, but in the harder pieces they are more closely integrated. The objective is to improve rhythmic confidence and skill. The pieces are not dry exercises - the melodic content makes them interesting and enjoyable as pieces of music.
A Crock Of Jazz-Rock (DTrTB)
MHE 20805 £11.50
Here's To Freddie
Are We Lost Yet?
The Hundredweight Swing
A set of pieces in the Jazz-Rock idiom, a fusion of the improvisations of jazz with the strong rhythms (and often straight quavers) of rock. The music is no more than moderately difficult, although accurate rhythms and precise articulation are very important.
Eight Minimalist Studies (DTrTB)
MHE 10607 £13.00
These pieces are in the Minimalist style which was developed in the 1970s. They are completely tonal, with static harmony and much repetition of ideas. They are, however, rather easier, rather shorter, rather less repetitive and rather more tuneful than 'normal' minimalist pieces, and so I hope they will find favour with groups of recorder players!