THREE YEATS SONGS (1968 rev. 2017) (W.B.Yeats) 5½'
medium voice & flute
1. Had I the Heavens' Embroidered Cloths. -- 2. He and She -- 3. Sweet Dancer
1st perf: Louine Noble (mezzo-soprano), Judith Ann Johnson (flute), Graham Chapel, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, USA, 12 December, 1967.
Pub. Tŷ Cerdd, 2017
OF SWANS, SNAILS AND GEESE [May Sarton] (1991 rev. 2015) 14'
Original version: 4 solo voices and 3 electric guitars; revised version: 4 solo voices and piano
Commissioned by Red Byrd with funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain
1. The Memory of Swans -- 2. Eine Kleine Snailmusik -- 3. Franz, a Goose
1st perf: Red Byrd (Linda Hirst, Ian Honeyman, John Potter, Richard Wistreich) & Tragicomedia (Erin Headley, Stephen Stubbs, electric guitars, Andrew King, bass guitar), Queen Elizabeth Hall, 31 January, 1991.
Contemporary Music Network Tour, Spring 1991.
HIS GAZE UPON OPHELIA (May, 2014) (Wm. Shakespeare) 7½'
soprano, viola and piano
HAZE AND THE ABSENCE OF CLOUDS (2011) (H.D.Thoreau; Z. Ghose) c.16'
high voice, string quartet and piano
Commissioned by WAM, the Reading Festival of Weather, Art and Music, 2012
Texts: Haze (Henry David Thoreau); Conspiracy of the Clouds (Zufikar Ghose)
1st perf: Alison Pearce (soprano), Mark Packwood (piano), Toki Quartet, WAM, the Reading Festival of Weather, Art and Music, Reading Town Hall, Reading. 2 June 2012
Pub. S&B. Scores and parts available for purchase, ref Y296
A reduction for high voice and piano (for rehearsal purposes only) is also available for purchase, ref Y300.
MOON AND BIRDS (2011) (A.Stevenson & E. Dickinson) 11'
medium voice and chamber ensemble (flute, harp and string quartet)
Commissioned by Contemporary Connections for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Society of Women Musicians
I. Blackbird III. Bird in hand
II. The moon is distant IV. On not being able to look at the moon LISTEN
1st perf: Frances Bourne (mezzo-soprano), Centenary Ensemble, Andrew Morley (cond), St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London, 4 November 2011
Pub. S&B. Score and parts available for purchase, ref Y292
A RIVER (2007) (Anne Stevenson) 9'
soprano, baroque or modern oboe, harpsichord and bass viol or cello
Commissioned by ‘Music in the Village’, Walthamstow, London, with funds provided by the audience of ‘Music in the Village’ and the Britten-Pears Foundation
1st perf: Natalie Clifton-Griffith (soprano), Gail Hennessy (baroque oboe), Reiko Ichise (bass viol), Terence Charleston (harpsichord), St Mary’s Church, Walthamstow, London, 21 February 2008.
Pub. S&B Score and parts available for purchase, ref Y243
COLOURS (2007) (Anne Stevenson) 14'
high voice, trumpet and organ
Commissioned by Deborah Calland
I. The Circle – II. Enough of Green
1st perf (I): Sarah Leonard, sop, Deborah Calland, tpt, Thomas Corns, org, Robinson College, Cambridge, 11 September 2007.
Pub. S&B Copies available for purchase, ref AC239
TRINITY (2004) (Anne Stevenson) 9'
high voice, flute and piano
Commissioned by Maki Yoneta for the Birmingham Conservatoire International
Accompanists’ Competition Prizewinner’s Concert
I. Trinity at Low Tide -- II. Without Me -- III. Vertigo
1st perf: Joana Seara (sop), Gemma Jukes (fl ), Maki Yoneta (pf ), Birmingham Conservatoire, 1 March 2005.
Pub. Stainer & Bell. Score and parts available for purchase, ref Y220
[Samuel’s settings] are dazzlingly inventive, maybe more akin to a flute sonata with added voice, than songs with added flute, but all the more interesting for it. The first song,‘Trinity at Low Tide’, toys with the poem’s concept of reflection, each of the four lines (the left and right hands of the piano are divided) fading in and out of unison, mirroring each other, overlapping and parting to create a ripple of texture. ‘Without Me’ is sparse – at times distant, at others harsh, even jarring. In ‘Vertigo’, the voice interjects between the flute’s dizzying pyrotechnics prevented from falling into Stevenson’s ‘naked abyss’ of the mind by the grounding left hand of the piano. These songs are a virtuoso display for all involved and not least from the composer whose intricate writing matches Stevenson’s deep yet concise poetry.
Armin Zanner, Music Teacher, January 2006
NANTCOL SONGS (2003) (Anne Stevenson) 11'
medium/high voice and harp ensemble (6 harps)
Commissioned by the Harp Department, Royal Academy of Music, London
I. The Wind, the Sun and the Moon -- II. A Perfect View
1st perf: Anna Dennis (soprano), Royal Academy of Music Harp Ensemble, Skaila Kanga (dir), Gareth Wood (cond), Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, 27 November 2003.
Pub. S&B Score and parts (six harps) available for purchase, ref AC212
TROIS CHANSONS DE FRANCOIS VILLON (1969, rev. 1998) 4½'
soprano and flute/piccolo
I. Ballade 1 – II. Ballade 2 – III. Epistre
1st perf (orig. version): Holly Outwin (soprano), Anne Swearingen (fl/picc), Graham Chapel, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, USA, 13 December 1970.
Rev. version pub. S&B Copies available for purchase (two copies supplied), ref Y168
THREE SONGS WITH GUITAR (1989) c.10'
voice and guitar
1.A dream within a dream (A.E.Poe) 2.Night (W. Soyinka) 3.If the owl calls again (J.Haines)
1st perf: Mateo Palma, baritone, Ana Maria Reyes, guitar, Sala Lessing, Instituto Chileno-Alemán de Cultura, Concepción, Chile, 23 August 1990; 1st USA perf: Tom King, tenor, Paul Binkley, guitar, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, 17 Oct. 1991; 1st UK perf: Robert Johnston, tenor, Craig Ogden, guitar, St Mary Magdalene Church, Bleddfa. Presteigne Festival, 29 August, 1996.
Pub. Andresier Editions (Bardic Edition), 2003
[Rhian Samuel’s] Three Songs with Guitaris a beautiful, crystalline work, which could be sung either by a soprano, mezzo-soprano, or tenor. . . The songs are wonderfully contrasted in mood and would be an interesting addition to any program
. Sharon Mabry, NATS Journal,(USA) Sept/Oct 1989
THE WITCH'S MANUSCRIPT (1985) (Carol Rumens) 10'
soprano and brass quintet (2tpt, tbn, hn, tba)
1st perf: Tamsin Dives (mezzo-soprano), The Downshire Players (Julian Poore, Bruce Nockles, tpts, Peter Ash, hn, David Stowe, trombone, Melvyn Poore, tuba). St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, 4 February 1987.
Pub. S&B Score and parts available for purchase, ref Y156
A brief work of fantasy and drama for female voice and brass quintet. Primarily a traditional use of the voice with a wide vocal range, large leaps, great dramatic contrasts, and two sudden outbursts of pitched shouting that encompasses only the head voice range. Requires a voice capable of easily achieving enough vocal power to match the instruments.
Sharon Mabry, Exploring Twentieth-Century Vocal Music (OUP, 2002)
Rondeau (1979) (Horiguchi Daigaku, trans.)
baritone and chamber ensemble (fl, Bb cl, vibr, vla, cello)
Prelude – Verse I – Interlude – Verse II -- Interlude – Verse III -- Coda
Ist perf: Edmund LeRoy, baritone, New Music Circle Players, St Louis, 15 May, 1979.
The music was compact, coherent, and beautifully laid out for the ensemble . . .this work has fluency and a good sense of what to do with the given instruments; it should stand up well under second and third hearings.
Frank Peters, St Louis Post-Dispatch, 16 May, 1979
THE HARE IN THE MOON (1978, rev. 1979) (Ryokan) 9'
soprano, vibraphone, marimba, double bass
1st perf: Carole Gaspar (soprano), Matthew Furfine (vib), Henry Claude (mar), Karen Katzen (db), St Louis Conservatory, St Louis, Missouri, USA, 2 May 1979; 1st UK perf: Miriam Aellig, soprano, players from the Royal Academy of Music, London, St Cyprian’s Church, London NW1, 31 May, 2001.
Pub. S&B Copies available for purchase (four copies supplied), ref AC159
Pub. S&B Copies available for purchase (four copies supplied), ref AC159