My Diary

  My Diary


                                           - Organ recitalist and accompanist

                                           - Conductor and Choir-trainer

                                           - Pianist and harpsichordist 


Christopher plays the 4-manual Hill organ (1901) at St Margaret's Ilkley and directs the choir in a full programme of liturgical music every Sunday at 10.45 High Mass and at 18.30 Choral evensong. (Evening prayer is said during August.) Details can be found on the monthly Music Schedule, which is published on the St Margaret's website:

Every month Christopher or a guest organist gives a half-hour recital at St Margaret's at lunchtime on the first Friday of each month, starting at 12.30 pm. December 7th has the first of Rheinberger's 20 sonatas and Noel Rawsthorne's entertaining Dance Suite. See the church website for full programme details of forthcoming recitals:

Other future engagements: 

Music by CBR at St Margaret's following the lovely singing of the Requiem op 92 on All Souls' Day, includes the rather gloomy Advent carol Remember O thou man at the Advent Procession on Dec 1st. There will also be descants old and new for the hymns and the usual Advent Responses. 


The three Amphion recordings of The Music of Christopher Rathbone are still available: vol 1 (2000) includes the Cello Sonata op 52, the organ Sonatina op 64 and the Stations of the Cross op 77; vol 2 (2002) has the song cycle The Turning Year op 45 and Scenes and Antiphons op 80; vol 3 (2005) includes the Requiem op 92, Pæan op 26 and two sets of organ variations, op 95 & 96.

'The Chamber Music of Christopher Rathbone' is a Meridian CD. Recordings from 2012 by 'Daniel's Beard' with the composer (organ) include the Terzetto op 55, Elegy op 56, Clarinet Quintet op 61, Bagatelles op 67, Organ Quartet op 100, Tarn Hows op 101, Daniel's Razor op 117 and Horn Quintet op 120 (the last two composed specially for 'Daniel's Beard').

A CD produced by Bradford Cathedral Choir in 2011 includes the original 2-part version of the Hymn to the Trinity from op 104.

A CD was produced by Stewart Smith of Clematis Records in 2013 in aid of the Bradford Cathedral Organ Fund, of organ music by César Franck. The three Chorales and the Fantaisie in C are played by Christopher at St Margaret's and the Cathedral. Stewart also records nearly all of our recitals at St Margaret's, so there are 'private' recordings of most of Christopher's organ works, as well as much other repertoire available through Stewart (via CBR.)

A CD (The Power of Music) features all the St Margaret's choirs, also recorded in 2013. It includes the church choir singing my own Nuptial Song op 105 of 2005 (with Nadine Wharton, cello) and God of New Beginnings op 118.

Paul Hale (until recenly Rector Chori at Southwell Minster) has recorded the Southwell Suite op 113 on a 2013 Oxrecs CD, having played the piece nationwide in recitals over the past few years. The Organists' Review described the suite as 'varied and colourful', and the disc was also reviewed favourably by Gramophone (May 2014) and Cathedral Music (the journal of the Friends of Cathedral Music.) I still have a few copies of this disc available. PH recently played the Suite at the Scottish Federation of Organists' conference in Aberdeen, and a paragraph from the local critic, which was reproduced in the Organists' Review, read as follows: "The Hymn Tune 'Southwell' was used to fine effect here, embellished in many surprising and effective ways. The opening Fantasia was episodic, the Larghetto smoothly and continuously flowing, the Allegretto grazioso was light and splendidly playful, the Adagio was harmonically rich and the Toccata, with its short minor interlude, was absolutely splendid." I played the Suite in my 2017 May recital.

In 2017 a CD of Organ Music for Advent was produced by Stewart Smith of Clematis Records, mostly recorded at Christopher's live recitals at St Margaret's (over 79 minutes music!) and is available at £10 - proceeds to the St Margaret's Music Fund.

Stewart has put together the three 'instalments' of the Leighton Missa de Gloria from recitals this year, to make a complete recorded performance. If anyone would like a copy do contact me and I will try to persuade him to produce a few more copies! 


Three new pieces now available: a simple setting of the St Mark Passion, and two anthems setting George Herbert: 'Bitter-sweet' and 'My joy, my life, my crown' (op 139), and a short setting of a mediaeval (French) Latin Carol called Incarnation op 140 - at present in a simple tune and accompaniment form for a Christmas card, but it will probably appear in full SATB + organ form for next years Lessons and Carols! (all 2018).

Much of Christopher's music, apart from the titles published by Banks or by BJM, is now available in self-published editions (as pdf files), type-set by the composer on Sibelius 7.5. These include: 

Organ music: 

Paean op 26*; Miniature Suite op 39*; Fantasia on 'The Old Bath Road' op 43

'King Lear' fantasia op 51 (1990); Sonatina op 64*; Toccata on 'Puer nobis' op 71*

The Stations of the Cross op 77*; Scenes and Antiphons for Advent op 80*

Meanwood Suite op 83*; Variations on 'Richmond' op 91*; & on 'Dundee' op 95*

Seven Short Pieces op 107*; Baker's dozen of hymn-based works op 109 (mostly *)

'Southwell' Suite op 113 (revised 2016)*; Wantage Suite op 131*

Prelude and fugue op 128*; Passacaglia and fugue op 135*

Fantasy for a dancing queen op 136*; Two little chorale preludes op 137      * available in CD recordings


The setting of Sorley's 'East Kennett Church at Sunset' op 124 

Song cycles: Palestine Songs op 97; 'The Turning Year' op 45 (16 songs); 'She' op 89; and Three Songs of C.S.Lewis op 88. 

Chamber music: (parts also available)

Horn sonata op 4; Cello sonata op 52*; Violin sonata op 54

Elegy op 56*; and Bagatelles op 67 for cello and piano*

Clarinet Quintet op 61*; and Clarinet Trio op 63 (Suite: Aire and Wharfe)* 

Organ quartet op 100 (Organ, vn, va, vc)*; Tarn Hows op 101 (Vn, vc, org)*

Sextet 'Daniel's Razor' op 117 (Cl, hn, vn, va, vc, pi)* 

Horn Quintet op 120 (hn, vn, 2 va, vc)*; Piano quartet op 122 (still unperformed)

Andante cantabile for viola, cello & piano op 125; Phrygian Suite for viola and piano op 129 

Wind Quintet op 132 and  Berceuse op 134 (Two Trumpets, org.)                         * available on CD recordings

Choral music: 

Carols: 'This endris night' *; 'Blessed be that Lady Bright' op 82; an arrangement of the C.S.Lewis song 'The Nativity' (op 88 no 2) and 'Easter' op 130.

Anthems 'A New Commandment' op 18 (our wedding anthem in 1969); 'The House of God' op 76; 'Out of the Deep' op 79; Two Short Prayers op 133 (2016, Choristers' prayer; 'Music'); 'Prayer of St Richard of Chichester' op. 138 (2017) and 'Bitter-sweet' and 'My joy, my life, my crown' (George Herbert, Feb. 2018, op 139 nos 1 and 2) 

Responses for unacc. ATB (2015) and the Short Evening Service (arranged 2017 from the first service for trebles op 42, 1979-81). Also the St Mark Passion for soloists and 2-part choir (2018).

There is also an arrangement of 'Were you there...?' for SAT/B and piano/organ written for the choir of St John's Batheaston, plus arrangements for St Margaret's Choir (SATB/Org.) of Amazing grace, I vow to thee my country and Barbara Streisand's 'Evergreen'; also 'We three kings' (1998), 'Silent night', 'People look East', See amid the winter's snow and 'Cranbrook' ('While Shepherds watched'). There is also a new descant version for 'O for a thousand tongues' (Lyngham) with trumpet! Also a new arrangement of the organ accompaniments to Faure's Requiem! There are also about 50 Anglican chants, particularly suitable for evensong psalms.

All the above are type-set and available as pdf files from the composer, by return of e-mail. The e-mail address for orders is or        

            Last edited 4.x.18  -  CBR