“Five Vesper Motets” delivered

After a long gestation period, I finally delivered the five choral works that will be performed in December alongside the choral sections of Monteverdi’s famous Vepsers of 1610.

It’s a fabulous idea from conductor Matthias Stoffels, and involves me replacing the 5 solo/ensemble motets from the Vespers with choral settings of the same texts. The Berlin choir ensemberlino vocale will then perform this combination Monteverdi/Lawton Vespers – without expensive soloists and instrumentalists (which can put performances of the Monteverdi out of reach for some choirs). Lots of people I’ve talked to about the project have assumed I’ve been arranging the original Monteverdi for choir, or writing new choruses in the style of Monteverdi – nothing could be further from the truth: I’ve tried to create a completely different soundworld, in a very few occasions quoting some Monteverdi for dramatic effect, almost to highlight how far we are away from it.

The work will be premiered in December in Berlin.

Arrangements played in Family Concert

I’ve been very busy arranging lots of excerpts of famous pieces for use in a Family Concert at the Kammermusiksaal in Berlin. The violist Matthew Hunter is leading a group of his Berlin Philharmonic colleagues and a great many children in a concert based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book “The Little Prince”. Pieces I’ve arranged for the seven-player ensemble include “The Entertainer”, bits of symphonies by Mozart and Shostakovich, and (the one I’m most proud of) “Mars” from Holst’s “Planets” Suite.

Review of “Three Chorale Preludes”

Richard Brasier has been performing my “Three Chorale Preludes” while on tour in Germany. His concert on the 1731 Thielemann organ in Gräfenhain was reviewed by the Thüringer Landeszeitung, and included a favourable mention of my pieces. Link to follow (German).

The pieces were written for the Orgelbüchlein Project, filling in Bach’s blanks with chorale preludes commissioned from composers around the world.

Three World Premieres confirmed for 2014

As well as “Urlicht” on 15th November, I’m happy to announce that my “Purcell Variations” (a prelude to Dido’s Lament) and “ENTHUSIASTICON” will both receive their first performances in Berlin this year.

Purcell Variations (prelude for string quartet)
UFO Sound Studios, 29th August 2014
Oriel Quartett (& Sarah Dacey, soprano)

Urlicht (for SATB choir)
Johanniskirche, Berlin-Moabit, 15th November 2014 – Première
Kirche St. Ludwig, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, 16th November 2014 – 2nd performance (FREE)
Consortium musicum Berlin
c. Vinzenz Weissenburger

ENTHUSIASTICON (for large choir)
Nikolaikirche, Berlin-Mitte, 14th December 2014
consortium vocale berlin & ensemberlino vocale
c. Matthias Stoffels.

How to list musical compositions


N.B. This list was created for use in the database of a classical concert ticket-sales website that (I suspect) has a large “tourist” customer base. It therefore differs in a number of ways from how I think some pieces ought to be referenced in an ideal world.
1) This list uses English-language opera titles, except in cases of extreme fame (Die Fledermaus).
2) Some pieces are also so famous as to make it impractical to list them by their “rightful” information, e.g. “Albinoni’s” Adagio for Organ and Strings, actually by Remo Giazotto.

a) “Untitled” works

General form: Work Type No. N in X mode, op. N, no. N, “Nickname”

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, op. 73, “Emperor”
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, “Elvira Madigan”
String Quartet No. 1 in F major, op. 18, no. 1
Violin Sonata No. 35 in A major, K. 526
Piano Sonata No. 1 in C minor, op. posth. 4
Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat major, D. 929
Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp, L. 137
Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K. 448
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
Symphony No. 1 in D major, “Titan”
Missa Brevis in C major, K. 317, “Coronation Mass”
Mass No. 2 in G major, D. 167

b) Titled works
i) Non-stage works

Syrinx, L. 129
St. John Passion, BWV 245
Pacific 231
Erlkönig, D. 328
We’ll Gather Lilacs

ii) Stage works

The Barber of Seville
The Flying Dutchman
Die Fledermaus

c) Mixtures

Chorale Prelude on “Nun Komm’ Der Heiden Heiland”, BWV 659
Cantata “Nun Komm’ Der Heiden Heiland”, BWV 61
Overture “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, op. 21
Leonore Overture No. 3, op. 72b

d) Collections

Die Schöne Müllerin, op. 25, D. 795
Four Impromptus, op. 90, D. 899
Hermit Songs
24 Préludes, op. 28
The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II
L’Estro Armonico, op. 3
The Nutcracker Suite, op. 71a
Six Pieces for Piano, op. 118
Six Little Pieces for Piano, op. 19

e) Extracts
i) Unknown

The Marriage of Figaro (highlights)
Schwanengesang (selected songs)
Two- and Three-Part Inventions (selected)
Selected Works

ii) known

Concerto for Four Violins in D major, RV 549, from L’Estro Armonico, op. 3, no. 1
Toccata, from Symphony for Organ no. 5 in F minor, op. 42, No. 1
Adagietto, from Symphony No. 5, 4th movt.
“Das Wandern”, from Die Schöne Müllerin, op. 25, D. 795
“Cloches à travers les feuillies”, from Images, Book II, no. 1
“Recondita armonia”, from Tosca
“The Swan”, from The Carnival of the Animals
“The Marriage of Figaro” Overture
Agnus Dei, from Mass in B minor, BWV 232
“Es ist vollbracht”, from St. John Passion, BWV 245
“Mein Herr Marquis”, Adele’s Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus
“Ah, je ris de me voir”, The Jewel Song from Faust

f) Arrangements and Versions

Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel)
Piano Quartet no. 1 in G minor, op. 25 (orch. Schoenberg)
Concert suite from “The Nutcracker” (arr. Pletnev)
Adagio for Strings (arr. Strickland)
Tannhäuser (Paris version)
Turandot (completed by Berio)
12 Grand Études (1837 version)
Symphony No. 10 (Performing version, prepared by Deryck Cooke)