Secular choral music and songs


op 0 “The Jabberwocky” 1976

(Lewis Carroll), for tenor, flute and harpsichord (revised version for tenor, oboe and harpsichord 2008)

op 0 “Birgitta” 1984/85

boogie woogie babe (Avery) voice and piano

op 0 “As her pen floated over the papers” 1987

(Byrom) voice and piano

op 2 And death shall have no dominion (tenor, horn and piano)

This is a setting of the famous poem by Dylan Thomas.

op 8 Cantata “Salvia and hibiscus flowers" 1966

(D H Lawrence), tenor and bass soloists, treble choir, six wind soloists, strings, percussion

op 15 “One short sleep past” 1968

(Blake, Thomas, Sassoon, Herbert, Donne, Brooke), tenor and strings

op 23 “The Hand of Time” 1970

6 medieval Irish poems, for tenor and piano

op 25 “The Dream of the Rood” 1972

cantata for chorus, piano duet and baritone solo

op 34 Bagpipe Music - Six songs for tenor and clarinet

1: Bagpipe Music (Louis MacNeice)

2: Epitaph on a tyrant (W.H.Auden)

3: Pot-pourri from a Surrey Garden (John Betjeman)

4: Prelude (T.S.Eliot)

5: Burbank with a Baedeker (Eliot)

6: Prayer before Birth (MacNeice)

This song cycle with clarinet accompaniment was written for Terry Busby in June 1979 and frequently performed by the composer (tenor) with T.B. (cl.)

op 36 “Pierce’s Cave” 1980

opera in two acts (Robert Avery)

op 37 “Four Nasty Children” 1981

This work consists of four short songs for children’s choir and piano. The poems are by John Ciardi, Lord Dunsany, anon (the cruel naughty boy), and Shelley Silverstein.

op 41 Songs for Toad

These settings of some of the songs for the play by A.A.Milne, 'Toad of Toad Hall',(an adaptation of 'Wind in the Willows'), were written for a production of the play at Marlborough College, and use the words by arrangement with the A.A.Milne estate. The five songs, for children's voices and piano, make an enjoyable 10 minute item. The last 2 songs divide into 2 voice parts, but the first three numbers are suitable for solo treble/mezzo/baritone as a group of solo songs. The first song, 'Wind in the williows is whispering low' has become one of the composer's signature pieces!

(Pub. BJM)
op 41 Songs from 'Toad of Toad Hall'

The best of these songs were arranged as Songs for Toad and published by BJM.

op 45 “The Turning Year” 1983

This is a cantata for voice(s) and piano (16 songs) (recorded by Victoria Sharp, Sally Daley and David Owen-Lewis on Amphion PH1CD 504). It traces the course of the seasons in setting several poems by James Thomson and Robert Bridges, and others by Spender, de la Mare, Edward Thomas, Auden, Breton, Plath, Shakespeare, Macneice and Ruthven Todd. Several of the Winter/Spring songs were performed recently by Edward Thornton and Christopher at St Margaret's Ilkley.

“The Turning Year” 1983
op 75 A Garland of Spirituals, for soprano, chorus and organ 1999

This set of four spirituals arranged for soprano solo, choir and organ was produced at the request of Victoria Sharp. It was performed by both Morley Musical Society and the Bradford Chorale, and more recently by Castleford Choral Society, usually with Ms Sharp as soloist (Sophie Wellings performed with the Bradford Chorale.)

op 78 “Letters to Paola” 1999

cantata for treble, soprano, tenor, baritone, chorus and small orchestra

op 84 “The World’s a Stage” 2001

This cantata for baritone solo, chorus and small orchestra has words from Shakespeare's 'Seven ages of man' and a prologue and epilogue from Hardy.

It was commissioned by the Otley Choral Society for their Diamond Jubilee in 2003, and performed twice in Otley Parish Church under the direction of Alan Horsey.

(Pub. BJM)
op 89 “She”, (Avery) cantata for tenor and piano 2001/2

'She' is a set of songs setting a sequence of poems by the late Robert Avery. There are 12 poems, set as a continuous 'cantata'. The work awaits it's first performance.

op 90 “In Church – a Dilemma” 2002

(Hardy) for mezzo soprano, violin, cello and organ

op 92 Requiem, for SATB and organ 2002/3

See under 'Choir and Organ'. This work has been published by BJM and recorded for Amphion by St Peter's Singers with Simon Lindley, organ, conducted by the Composer.

(Pub. BJM)
op 97 “Glimpses of Palestine” 2004

4 songs and a quartet, for solo  SATB, optional chorus and organ. These items were composed after the composer and his wife and daughter had visited the Holy Land. The songs were interspersed between the movements of the Requiem op 92 in a performance in Morley in around 2005.

op 112 Two Carroll settings for tenor, oboe & harpsichord 2009

The Jabberwocky 1976 arr. 2009 (the original edition was for flute and was written for Andrew Thompson.) It was performed at Hooe Church, E.Sussex, by Roger and Ruth Elias and the composer in summer 2009.

The Walrus and the Carpenter 2009, for Roger and Ruth Elias

op 123 Caedmon's Song 2012

A setting for Baritone and Soprano with viola and cello accompaniment. of Bede's account of Caedmon and the Angel, culminating in the Song itself. The text is set in the original Anglo-Saxon, and was written with Edward and Rowena Thornton, Ruth Cheney and Nadine Wharton in mind.

op 124 East Kennet Church at evening 2012

A song for baritone and piano setting the poem by C.H.Sorley, for Christopher Rogers's 70th birthday. Note that despite the title it is obvious that it is West Overton Church which the young Sorley is describing, not East Kennet! The first performance: St Peter's Church Marlborough on Sunday afternoon 24th February 2013 by Aubrey Clark with Christopher Rathbone at the piano. Now type-set and available from the composer. A second performance was given at St Margaret's Ilkley on April 25th by Edward Thornton and the composer.

(Pub. Typeset)
op 127 'God of Gods' for solo soprano and organ

A setting of most of psalm 50, composed for a mass at St Margaret's Ilkley sung by Una Barry with CBR (organ). 1st performance August 11th, 2013. There is a rather rough-and-ready CD of this live liturgical performance! It was performed again at All Saint's Church Ilkley on Sunday 18th May 2014 by Una, this time accompanied by Graham Barber.