Music for Henry IV parts 1 & 2


Programme Note

I was commissioned to write the music for the productions of Henry IV parts 1&2 soon after working on the score for The Plantagenets trilogy, which had been produced in 1989 in Stratford. A similar production team, with director Adrian Noble, and sets by Bob Crowley, were responsible for these epic productions, which also heralded the ‘return’ to the stage of Robert Stephens as Falstaff, with Michael Maloney as Prince Hal.

The music was once again a vital part of the ‘vision’ of the plays, and I was able to write big epic musical scenes for the famous Tavern Scene and Prince Hal’s Coronation. We recorded the voices of the Lichfield Cathedral Choir at the Cathedral itself, and this was then played via a ‘click’ track with the live music on the night. It was a memorable experience all round.

The productions were hailed as a triumph and helped to set the seal of approval on Adrian Noble’s forthcoming tenure as Artistic Director of the RSC.

Download Programme Note


Work Details

  • Date of Composition: 1991
  • Publisher: Unpublished
  • Genre:
  • Duration: c. 60'
  • Instrumentation: mixed ensemble plus voices
  • Commission Information:
    Royal Shakespeare Company

First Performance

  • Date: 25 March 1991 and 23 May 1991
  • Venue: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon- Avon
  • Performers:
    RSC Musicians Michael Tubbs (music director)