Category Archive: Composer

Short Service

Short Service

11th March 2021

Last year, a former lecturer of mine in the Russian department at the University of Exeter, Peter Scorer (1942–2020), sadly died. As well as teaching Russian, Peter was also the University’s Orthodox chaplain, being for many years a deacon in the Russian Orthodox Church.  You may recognise his name from the Corydon Singers (follow the […]

Encore!

Encore!

5th March 2021

Trying to promote one’s music during a global pandemic is not the easiest thing in the world: choirs are mostly not functioning, and choral directors have been on furlough, or are busy trying to work out how best to proceed in line with current restrictions. So I was excited to receive the following e-mail this […]

Magi viderunt stellam

Magi viderunt stellam

6th January 2021

As today is Epiphany, I thought I’d share another piece of mine, an experiment in using a cantus firmus within a modern musical idiom, from 2007. The chant itself comes from a setting by the Portuguese Renaissance composer Pedro de Cristo (1545/50–1618), which I decided to pair with words from Lancelot Andrewes’ Christmas sermon for […]

Three little hazel twigs

Three little hazel twigs

17th December 2020

I was recently reminded about the German tradition of the Barbarazweig, and thought I’d share a short Advent piece by Hugo Distler (1908–1942) which I translated some years ago: I first sang it back in December 1995, when I was living in Germany, and found it quite charming. Distler’s work is little known in the […]

Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams

26th November 2020

This Sunday is Advent Sunday, a day which marks an important step in my composing. As I wrote back in the summer, I wrote my setting of Rowan Williams‘ poem ‘Advent Calendar’ in 2006. Two years later, on Advent Sunday 2008, it was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 by the Choir of St John’s College, […]

The Angel and the Unicorn

The Angel and the Unicorn

8th October 2020

According to The New Oxford Book of Carols, this year marks the 125th anniversary of the famous carol known in English as ‘Gabriel’s Message’. It is actually a translation, by Sabine Baring-Gould, of a Basque carol, Birjina gaztettobat zegoen, which was collected by the French musician Charles Bordes and published in his Dix cantiques populaires […]