Love Goddess

Dorothy Bradford’s painting Goddess is unusual in the artist’s output in its subject matter. In shades of blue and grey, on a large canvas, it depicts a reclining female figure – sensuous, beguiling and pre-occupied. Her gaze out to camera, as it were, summons up a set of contrasting moods. I was drawn to this painting when considering which one to choose as the basis for the music.

The viola seemed to be the perfect instrument to portray the Goddess, with its opening three note chromatic figure being a kind of leitmotif, around which is weaved a variety of musical …

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Cameos

Cameos, a set of seven short pieces for trumpet and piano, was written in 1987 to a request from Brass Wind Publishing for a new work for trumpet and piano as part of a series of educational music by contemporary British composers.  With titles such as Serenade, Alla Marcia and Dance Macabre, the pieces are progressively wide-ranging in style, length and difficulty.  Cameos has become very popular with young players and are used regularly in music competitions and examinations all over the world. They have  been recorded by Gareth Small and Paul Janes on the Naxos label (Edward Gregson …

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Notes between Friends

This cameo for cello and piano was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for the official departure of the UK from the European Union (EU) (January 31 2020).  The composer had written  Fanfare into Europe for the UK’s entry into the EEC in 1973, and Radio 4 used this as the opening music for Mark Mardell’s Brexit: A Love Story? – a series of 25 programmes documenting the sometimes troubled relationship between the UK and the EU.  For Radio 4’s PM programme on 31 January 2020, the official date the UK left the EU, the producer wanted to return to the …

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A Song for Sue

This cameo for solo piano originated as the main theme for the 2nd movement of the Concertante for Piano and Brass Band, composed and premiered in 1966, and dedicated to Sue, his wife to be. In 2020 the composer decided to make a new arrangement of the music for solo piano, specially for an album of his solo piano music released on the Naxos label. After a short introduction the melody is unfolded against a backdrop of arpeggiated chords. A short transition section prefaces a repeat of the melody, this time developing into a majestic climax, before subsiding into silence. …

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