ROSEMARY ROBINSON Dunholm Suite (DTrTrTTB)
MHE 10119 £12.50
This piece was commissioned by the Durham and Newcastle Branches of the Society of Recorder Players, for that organisation’s National Festival, held in April 2019. This nine-minute suite is beautiful, and is not difficult to play. At the festival itself a version of Dunholm Suite for eight-part recorder orchestra was used. This is also available, as MHE 20119, and that is where the sound files can be found.
Inspired by Elizabeth (TTBGtBCtBCtB optSubCtB)
MHE 10219 £16.50
Sweet Suffolk Owl
The Female Highwayman
I wrote this set of pieces for the Mellow Tones Recorder Orchestra (METRO), Helen Hooker’s eight-foot recorder orchestra - hence the unusual combination of instruments. METRO rehearses near Stevenage, and I found that the composer Elizabeth Poston was born, lived and died in that town. So writing music related to Stevenage became a possibility, although the relationship turned out not to be all that obvious, and is too involved to go into here! Suffice it to say that I was variously inspired by Elizabeth Poston's choice of sources, and I hope that I managed to unite everything into a coherent suite by using a definite hint of jazz, and some similar and exciting rhythms. Please note that I used none of Elizabeth Poston’s own music - just as well, because she will remain in copyright for some years! Performance time is about eight minutes.
The Bold Pirate (DTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 10418 £9.00
I wrote this set of variations at the request of the Bristol-based sextet the Bristowe Consort, as part of their twentieth birthday celebrations. The tune on which the piece is based is the traditional ‘The Bold Pirate’, and its many verses begin with…'‘Twas on the 12th of March, my boys, from Bristol we set sail'. Total playing time of this moderately difficult piece is about six minutes.
MHE 10519 £5.00
Steph Sutherland asked me if I could write something for her, using the unusual instrumentation of two contrabasses. The result is this five-movement, six-minute suite. The most obvious problem with music for two contrabasses is that simple human need to breathe, and reasonably often too. There are a reasonable number of short rests built into the music, but in any case contrabass players are a resourceful lot, and will no doubt find a way to make it work. Unsurprisingly the piece also works fine on two basses.
Four Madrigals (DTrTB)
MHE 10618 £7.00
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.
Bagatelle No 1, for tenor recorder and piano (T, piano)
MHE 10718 £3.50
I wrote this rather pastoral piece so that tenor recorder players of moderate ability could explore the more unusual time signatures of 5/4 and 7/4. When I wrote the piece I had the mellow sound of a tenor in mind, but I have heard it played on the descant, and it sounded fine then as well. A suitably mellow descant recorder might be best however! Playing time is about four minutes.
ROSEMARY ROBINSON Avon Valley Suite (DTrTBGtB)
MHE 10818 £13.50
The Avon Valley Suite adds to quite a short list of modern pieces where the lowest instrument is the lovely great bass. This ten-minute suite is dedicated to Ruth Burbidge.
Bagatelle for Clarinet and Recorder Sextet (Clnt, DTrTrTTB)
MHE 10918 £7.50
I was asked if I had any music for clarinet and recorder ensemble. I realised that ‘Fun Little Tunes for Harriet's Bassoon’ (MHE40808), for bassoon and recorders would work well, with some reworking, and here it is – reborn as a Bagatelle. The clarinet is capable of many moods, but this piece concentrates on the quirky and playful side of its personality. It does get a bit romantic in the slower middle section, but quirkiness is quickly restored and lasts until the very end, when the piece confidently ends in what is more than likely the 'wrong' key. Four minutes of musical fun!
Low-down Blues (TBB)
MHE 11118 £8.00
I wrote this miniature suite at the request of the trio Polyphonica, to whom it is dedicated. They wanted something jazzy for low instruments, lasting no more than five minutes so, in accordance with the brief, the five tiny pieces in Low-down Blues last precisely five minutes, and it is for tenor and two basses. But it is not easy music! Nevertheless, if you are up to it, I think the suite is exciting, and a bit of a crowd-pleaser!
ROSEMARY ROBINSON Dunholm Suite (DTrTTBBGtBCtB)
MHE 20119 £13.50
This piece was commissioned by the Durham and Newcastle Branches of the Society of Recorder Players, for that organisation’s National Festival, held in April 2019. This nine-minute suite is beautiful, and is not difficult to play. At the festival itself this version of Dunholm Suite for eight-part recorder orchestra was used, but a six-part version (without big basses) is also available, as MHE 10119.
Nesciens Mater (Mouton) (TTBCtB/BBGtBCtB)
MHE 20718 £5.50
Jean Mouton (1459 - 1530) was a French composer. His Nesciens Mater, which was published posthumously in 1555, is a very clever piece of writing, with the higher choir playing exactly the same material as the lower choir, but two bars later, and a fifth higher. This compositional trick does not dominate proceedings however, and this is a work of great and effortless beauty. I have arranged the piece for two eight-foot choirs, although it could also be played an octave higher by DDTrB/TrTrTB. Playing time is about five minutes.
Recorder Septet No 2 (SnoDTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 21118 £13.50
I was encouraged to write a second recorder septet by the success of the first. I think that reasons for its success included that there are still very few recorder septets in existence, and even fewer of only moderate difficulty. This piece is in five, very contrasting movements. It uses the same instrumentation as the first septet – sopranino down to contrabass – and it is equally suited to one-to-a-part playing or several-to-a-part orchestral playing. Total playing time is about nine minutes.
Recorder Septet No 1 (SnoDTrTBGtBCtB)
MHE 30718 £13.00
My first recorder septet is in four movements. All movements start with musical material that is the same, apart from key and tempo, but then each movement develops along very different lines. The septet, which is of no more than moderate difficulty, works equally well played one-to-a-part, or by a several-to-a-part recorder orchestra. Total playing time is about eight minutes.
Three Pinwood Miniatures (DTrTrTBGtB)
MHE 40117 £8.50
In Stoke Woods
By Pin Brook
Dancing at the Arena
This suite is dedicated to Ashley Allerton, who has been a constant supporter of my compositions for many years. Ashley is a great bass specialist, hence the rather unusual instrumentation of these pieces, and I ensured that the great bass plays a very important role in proceedings. The titles of these short pieces refer to three places just to the north of Exeter. Total playing time is about six minutes.