Symphony No 10 (SnoDDTrTrTrTTTTBBBBGtBCtB)
MHE 10121 £36.00
Minuet and Trio
My tenth symphony came about in, what for me, was an unusual way. I normally have ideas for a piece, and it’s not very long afterwards that I have put all of the flesh on the bones and finished it. But this symphony is the product of a lot of ideas that started ten years earlier, many of which sat on the hard disc for several years. Their time had come when I wanted a big sound for a particular large-scale playing event, and I worked the ideas together into this symphony. There are quite a lot of contrasting musical ideas in the piece – sometimes it’s haunting, sometimes rumbustious, sometimes rather formal, and sometimes free. But it feels to me as if it holds together well! Total performance time is about thirteen minutes.
Polyphonica's Christmas Bauble (DTrT)
MHE 10221 £6.00
A little bit of Christmas fun, written for my good friends, the trio Polyphonica. The music cracks along, including several well-known Christmas favourites. The only slight snag is that Polyphonica are very good players, so the music is rather difficult. But then, if you buy the music earlier in the year, you’ll have plenty of time to get it up to scratch before you impress your audiences in December!
The Crassus Suite (DDTrTB)
MHE 10320 £9.00
I wrote this straightforward three-minute suite for Linda Griffith and the Chipping Sodbury U3A Recorder Group. The unusual name of the piece refers to William Crassus who, in 1217 was granted a licence to hold fairs and markets in (what is now) Chipping Sodbury.
Anniversary Fantasia (DTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 10520 £8.50
I wrote this piece at the request of Sheila and Stephen Marlowe, whose 50th Wedding Anniversary was approaching, and who wanted a new piece to be played at the celebrations. The brief was for a light piece, no more than four minutes long, and definitely not involving arrangement of any famous wedding marches!
The First Spring Day (D (orT))
MHE 10620 £5.00
if the sap is stirring
sore in doubt
both lost and dear
sing, hope, to me!
Spring must dawn again
till I too blossom
The First Spring Day is a set of fairly straightforward solos, inspired by verse of the same name by the English poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894). The inspiration was rather indirect, by taking eight fragments from the poem – fragments that suggested musical ideas to me. Performance time of all eight pieces is about nine minutes.
Introduction to Under Milk Wood (DTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 11120 £8.00
This publication comprises music that, I hope, is sympathetic to the opening paragraphs of ‘Under Milk Wood’ by Dylan Thomas. The music is unusual for recorder ensembles. It is mood music, the sort that often goes by unnoticed while watching a film. I have conducted this music several times, with groups who are familiar with Thomas’s play (or to whom I have explained it in advance), and it has worked well and was greatly appreciated.
Miniature Suite for Harpsichord and Recorders (Hrpsch, DTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 11206a £16.00
This suite, originally for harp and recorders, was written at the request of Sue Danbury, for use by a recorder group in Clun. This group regularly played with a harpist, and unsurprisingly there was no music available for harp and recorder ensemble together. I rearranged the suite for use at the 2012 Northern Recorder Course, when Rosemary Robinson was the harpsichord player. The recorder parts are of moderate difficulty only.
March: Fort Popham (Hall) (DDTrTTBBBGtBCtB)
MHE 20120 £8.50
Robert Hall (1858-1907) was very well-known in the USA and throughout the world, particularly in the UK. March: Fort Popham is a crowd-pleasing piece with some great tunes. Other than a couple of bars of chromatic scales, it is straightforward to play.
Fantasy on London's Burning (DTr)
MHE 20121 £4.50
The duo Flauto Dolce asked me to write something unusual and specific for them. They were soon to perform to a group of people who were recorder non-believers, and who had been more or less obliged to attend. Flauto Dolce thought it would be fun to start the event by going along with the popular notion that recorders were capable of little more than ‘London’s Burning’. But as the performance continued, they wanted to surprise the audience with an arrangement that became much ‘cleverer’. So that is how this short fantasy was written. Apparently their ploy worked well!
TVRO at Ten (SnoDDTrTrTTBBGtBSubCtB)
MHE 20221 £14.00
The strange title is easily decoded! This is the piece that Helen Hooker asked me to write for the tenth anniversary of her Thames Valley Recorder Orchestra (TVRO). The piece is essentially a set of variations on the inevitable ‘Happy Birthday’, although there are snatches of other tunes that pop in here and there. The variations move through a bewildering selection of musical styles. I also showed off somewhat by writing some of the tunes backwards and upside-down, although I have paid the price for my showing off because I have now forgotten where these things occur in the score. This is probably the Gods of Music punishing me for trying to emulate J S Bach. The piece is reasonably difficult to play, at the standard of a typical British recorder orchestra.
Musical Poems No 1: Two Little Kittens (DTrTB)
MHE 20520 £6.50
Two little kittens, one stormy night...
"I'll have that mouse," said the bigger cat...
I've told you before 'twas a stormy night...
The ground was covered with frost and snow...
And then they crept in as quiet as mice...
My pieces ‘Musical Poems’ are an ongoing series of poems with musical interludes, sympathetic to the verse. I have used this formula several times, and it has been well-received by audiences and players. 'Two Little Kittens’ is a work by the poet and novelist Jane Taylor (1783-1824). There are six musical interludes of straightforward but, I hope, interesting music. A performance of words and music lasts about six minutes.
A Wind for All Seasons (Tr)
MHE 20620 £4.50
1. Fallen Leaves
2. As Wild as the Winter Wind
3. A Gentle Westerly
4. Summer Breeze
Four solos for treble recorder. The pieces are moderately challenging, especially at the marked speeds. Total playing time is about four minutes.
Three Chorales and Improvisations (Sno DTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 21120 £9.00
These pieces were another result of our running events for ‘Easy Recorder Orchestra’. The chorales are particularly easy – on occasions they were successfully negotiated by players who were not far off beginners. The ‘twist’ is that each piece includes a line for a solo sopranino. These solo parts are not virtuosic, but they are high, need dexterity, and require some degree of courage because they are frighteningly prominent! By the way, improvisation is not involved – ‘improvisation’ refers to the improvisatory feel of the solo part. On the first performance we were fortunate to have the sopranino services of the wonderful Helen Hooker, and the texture of the whole was interesting, almost ethereal.
Recorder Septet No 3 (SnoDTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 30120 £15.50
My third recorder septet has the same instrumentation as the first two. It is equally suited to one-to-a-part playing or several-to-a-part orchestral playing. I was encouraged to write another recorder septet because of the shortage of septets and (with all due modesty) by the success of the others. Total playing time is about ten minutes.
Bach to the Future (DTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 30121 £14.00
Minuet in G BWV Anh. 114
Shaff's mit mir, Gott BWV 514
Musette in D BWV Anh. 126
I wrote this set of three pieces for a massed playing session at the 2019 Autumn Recorder Orchestra Weekend, held at Hoddesdon. The idea behind them is that if J S Bach had had the opportunity of listening to some 20th century jazz and blues, some of his music would have turned out a little differently. So I wrote three examples of what he might have done. Everyone on the course, of whatever playing standard, was going to play in the session, and so the music is no more than moderately difficult. All went well, and the ghost of Herr Bach fortunately did not make an appearance.
Five Hoddesdon Miniatures (DTrTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 30221 £13.50
I wrote these pieces for the Autumn Recorder Orchestra weekend, held at Hoddesdon. They were for use at an easier intermediate session, in which everyone on the course would be able to make a good contribution to the music. Each miniature uses a small range of rhythmic figures, which occur in most or all parts. It is hence possible to rehearse those figures, so that the performance becomes more secure.
Musical Poems No 2: The Cat and The Moon (DTrTB)
MHE 30520 £8.50
The cat went here and there...
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon...
Minnaloushe runs in the grass...
What better than call a dance?...
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass...
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils...
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass (2)...
The second in my series ‘Musical Poems’ is 'The Cat and The Moon’. This uses a poem by the famous Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939). There are eight musical interludes of straightforward but, I hope, interesting music. A performance of words and music lasts about eight minutes.
Four Moods (Tr)
MHE 30620 £4.50
3. In the Mood for Dancing
4. Mood Swing
Four Moods comprises four contrasting solos for treble recorder. The pieces are moderately challenging. Total playing time is about five minutes.
Burlesque (Hrps, SnoDDTrTrTTBBGtBCtB)
MHE 40121 £18.50
I played in a recorder orchestra that included the renowned keyboard player Rosemary Robinson. Perhaps surprisingly there is not very much music for such a combination of instruments, and Burlesque was one of the pieces I wrote to fill the gap. The orchestra was a good one, Rosemary is a fine player, and everyone wanted to be tested to an extent, and so this quirky and vigorous piece is not at all easy.
Herbs and Spices (T)
MHE 40221 £5.50
Beginning with Basil
Take Your Thyme
The Dill Dance
A Pinch of Paprika
Zoomin' with Cumin
The Turmeric Kick
Eight favourite ingredients, all guaranteed to put some big flavours into your meals, and some zing and variety into your tenor playing! I wrote and played these pieces on tenor, but you could also play them on a descant. Herbs and Spices is a generous, ten-minute, culinary experience.
Musical Poems No 3: The Lion and The Mouse (DTrTB)
MHE 40520 £8.50
A lion with the heat oppressed,
Nor thought of harm, as Aesop tells,
Who straightaway woke, with wrath immense,
But she (the mouse) with tearful eye,
'Twas nearly twelve months after this,
When the poor mouse, who heard the noise,
The third in my series ‘Musical Poems’ is 'The Lion and The Mouse’. This uses a poem by the poet and author Jeffreys (sometimes Jefferys) Taylor (1792-1853). There are eight musical interludes, of straightforward but, I hope, interesting music. A performance of words and music lasts about eight minutes.
Free Spirit (Tr)
MHE 40620 £5.00
1. Of the wanderer in my soul
2. Free spirit within
Free Spirit comprises two solos for treble recorder. I wrote these pieces as part of my composition studies with Carla Rees, who has a particular interest in music for solo wind instruments. The music is rather challenging. Total playing time is about five minutes.
Dora's Mood (DDTrTrTTBBGtBCtB)
MHE 50121 £12.00
Dora’s Mood is a relaxed piece of jazz for ten recorders. I wrote it for a recorder orchestra course where players could explore this musical idiom and also have an opportunity to dip their toes in the water of improvisation. So as not to pile on too many difficulties, the piece is written in straight quavers and the tempo is modest. There are opportunities for improvisation for descant, treble and bass, although written-out alternatives are also provided. For the curious, the title is a distorted version of ‘Dorian Mode’, in which the piece is written.
Two-Tone Suite (TrT)
MHE 50221 £8.00
Two-Tone Suite comprises five duets. The pieces are tuneful but moderately difficult. The suite also works well played an octave lower, on bass and great bass. Total playing time is about eight minutes.
The Chichester Miniatures (DTrTrTTB)
MHE 50620 £10.50
March to the Roman Palace
A quick walk along the South Downs
A stroll by the Lavant
Sunset over Bosham
A busy day at The Market Cross
I wrote this set of six pieces for Jean Campbell and her Chichester U3A Recorder Group. The pieces are inspired by events or places in and around the city. The music is generally straightforward, but there are also some moments of difficulty (mainly rhythmic difficulty)
Made for JADE (TrTB(or bass guitar))
MHE 51120 £10.00
I was asked to write something for a music group called ‘JADE’, that word being constructed from the names of the group members. JADE is an unusual group, comprising two recorder players and a bass guitarist. I duly came up with three pieces where the recorder parts are moderately difficult, and the bass guitar part is definitely difficult featuring, as it does, quite a lot of high double stopping. I have now made a bass recorder part from the bass guitar part. The recorder part is, I would say, now of similar difficulty to the other recorder parts. Although all parts are full of rhythmic vitality – in other words a bit tricky! The sound files involve the bass guitar part - even if you never play this piece you can hear this unusual sound combination.
See You Soon (DTrTBGtB)
MHE 60121 £7.00
Ann and I wrote ‘Gweld chi cyn bo hir’ as an end-of-course piece at a yearly event we run in mid-Wales. We used the Welsh title on the course but, much as we like the Welsh language, we thought that publishing it with the title in English would be a little better for sales. The music is of easy-moderate difficulty and includes a great bass part (we had several greats on the course).
Weston Wind (DTrTTB)
MHE 60221 £9.50
‘Toot Suite’, the Weston-super-Mare recorder group was able, in that ‘interesting’ year 2020, to meet up at various times. I was delighted and flattered that several members of the group seemed to be fans of my music, and so I wrote this set of three pieces for them.
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.
Microsuite for Sopranino and Eight Foot Orchestra (Sno TTBGtBCtB)
MHE 70121 £13.00
Both Ann and I particularly enjoy writing for, and conducting ensembles of modest ability. We decided to run an event that we believed had never been run before – an easy day for playing at eight-foot. In other words where the highest instrument was the tenor. We had an excellent day with fifty players where the instrumentation of most pieces was TTBGtCt. As a contrast to the rest of the day, I wrote Microsuite, where the orchestra was joined by Helen Hooker as sopranino soloist. The solo part is modestly difficult, and the orchestra parts are quite easy. Total performance time is about six minutes.
Three Fantasies (DTrTTB)
MHE 70221 £10.00
Fantasy No 1
Fantasy No 2
Fantasy No 3
I am kept pretty busy, writing music for specific musical events or groups. But I wanted to write something solely for the pleasure of composing, and these fantasies were the result. The three pieces are by no means virtuosic, but are a little more difficult than some of my usual output.
Two Traditional Songs (DDTrTrTTBBGtBCtB)
MHE 71120 £10.00
She Moved Through the Fair
Some years ago I started to run sessions in which players of modest technique could experience the thrilling sound of massed playing in several parts. These sessions became something that has been one of my main musical activities (and Steve’s too). In order to fuel such sessions, there is a need for suitable music – easy and in many parts. When I started off, I could find none at all, so over the years we have both written and arranged a lot of music for easy recorder orchestra. These ‘Two Traditional Songs’ are good examples. They are easy to play but, especially with a big group, produce a huge sound and are very well-received by the players!
Three Short Anthems by Purcell (DTrTB)
MHE 80221 £5.00
I Will Give Thanks Unto Thee
Lord, Have Mercy Upon Us
I arranged these short pieces for an ‘easy’ session on a course. Purcell’s music can not often be described as ‘easy’, and so the participants enjoyed the experience of playing music by this giant of English music. Despite the easy notes and the brevity of the pieces, we had much to work on, given a generous number of dynamic markings and some unexpected chords.
Two Songs by Hubert Parry (DTrTB)
MHE 81120 £6.00
Love Is A Sickness
The Sea Hath Many Thousand Sands
Music by Hubert Parry (1848-1918) is not an obvious source of material for recorder ensembles – the music is clearly in the ‘wrong' style. But I arranged these two songs for recorders, to have something different to play at a recorder event, and all of us were very pleasantly surprised. It took quite some time to arrive at playing in the right way for this music – for example, to make enough (but not too much) of the frequent changes in dynamics, both sudden and gradual. But I think it all worked, and worked well, and I wanted to share these pieces with the wider recorder world.
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.
On Quiet Reflection (DTrTTBBGtBCtB)
MHE 90121a £8.50
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, so I wanted to write something else to showcase their beautiful sound. I later made this arrangement for eight recorders of my original DTrTB quartet, and this works well – more powerful and sonorous than the original, but no worse for that. 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. The original quartet version is available as MHE 90121.
Colonel Bogey March (Tr/Sno TrTTBBGtBCtB)
MHE 90221 £12.50
Kenneth J. Alford (1881 – 1945) was a British composer of marches for band. Perhaps his best-known march, and one of the best-known marches composed by anybody is ‘Colonel Bogey’. No doubt its fame was boosted by being used in the 1957 film ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’. My arrangement of this piece is a real crowd-pleaser (and player-pleaser) and is not difficult. The only moderately tricky moment is in the last minute, when one of the trebles picks up a sopranino to play some whizzy figures.