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- CHILDREN: Strings
Fuzon (String quartet in two linked movements) c. 7’00”
The first performance was in 2012 at the Royal Academy of Music, London by the Piatti Quartet who have since played ‘Fuzon’ many times. Other performances include Brighton Philharmonic Chamber series in 2016 and in Hampstead in November 2017.
Parts and study score available from Comus Edition.
‘A welcome addition to the string quartet repertoire’ – TEMPO, April 2013.
‘… certainly the most challenging, and probably the most satisfying, work on the programme for the players’
– LARK REVIEWS, August 2016
Urizen (viola and piano – also in versions with either string orchestra or chamber orchestra) c. 9′
Performed and broadcast many time worldwide, ‘Urizen’ was recorded by Paul Silverthorne and John Constable on Black Box Classics.
‘Urizen’ was first published by Patricia McCarty’s Ashmont Music, then by Boosey & Hawkes and now by Comus Edition.
‘… a late-twentieth-century musical gem’ NOTES 2002
Another Orpheus (string orchestra, 1993, rewritten 2014) One movement 8’30”
A dramatic single movement with obligato viola solos.
‘Another Orpheus sings again, and loves and weeps and dies’ – Shelley, ‘Hellas’
First performance to come in July 2017 with the Musicians of All Saints
Score and parts available from Comus Edition.
At Two (2017, 2 movements, c. 8 mins)
Commissioned by Peter Mallinson and Matthias Wiesner whose 2017 CD ‘Music for Two Violas’ is on the Meridian label. The title comes, of course, from Woody Allen’s ‘I am at two with nature’. These are not for beginners!
Stranger, Lover, Dancer for solo ‘cello (2014, 3 movements c. 7 minutes overall)
Three self-explanatory short movements. First performance was at the Cheltenham Festival 2015 with Jessie Ann Richardson. Subsequently performed at the Presteigne Festival 2016 by Alice Neary. Published in 2015 by Comus Edition.
‘Hawkins has a gift for creating miniatures which have a heft and resonance well beyond their modest duration, and so it proved here’ MUSICAL OPINION 2017
These Lovers (violin and ‘cello, 2016, 1 movement c.5′)
‘… these lovers, these people entering into illusion glittering eyed, must be danced round with mockery, decorated with garlands.’
– Virginia Woolf, ‘To the Lighthouse’.
Originally written for flute and ‘cello, now rewritten for violin and ‘cello.
Looking Back (violin and piano, 2014, 1 movement 5′ 30″)
A lyrical piece which looks at Orpheus, who yearns for Euridice and cannot resist the fatal backward look. Piano score and part are available, from Comus Edition. First performed by Siân Philipps and Per Rundberg in 2016.
String Quartet (1976 in 3 movements 17′)
An early piece, but published in 2014 by Fountayne Editions
There is a complete performance on YouTube
‘This beautiful early quartet already displays the haunting lyricism of his later work.The complete mastery of his writing for strings was also there very early.’
Caged Moon (string quartet, 1 movement 7’00” 1984 – revised 2011) Published in 2014 by Fountayne Editions
This is a fast single movement quartet. The title comes from Whitney Chadwick’s commentary on Remedios Varo’s painting ‘Celestial Pablum’ in her book ‘Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement’ ‘… pale and exhausted, trapped alone in a tower room where she mechanically grinds up stars and feeds them to a caged moon.’
Seven into Eight (string quartet, 2009 one movement. c.5mins)
Commissioned by the Haworth family for their violist father’s eightieth birthday. A condition of the commission was that, in case of absent family members, the 2nd violin part should be idiomatically playable by a second cello!
‘Intrada, Romanza and Burlesca’ (‘cello and piano, 3 movements c. 11’)
Originally written as part of my ‘cello Sonata (1973), these three movements were revised in 2016 to make an effective suite.
Quietus (string trio, 1 movement 4’30”) Published by Comus Edition
Worlds Apart (double-bass and piano) 1 movement, 9’30” Published by McTier Music
‘One of the finest pieces for double bass I’ve heard’
Gestures (two violas) 1 movement, 4’50” Published by Comus Edition
‘Gestures is a brilliant tour-de-force for two violas.… Hawkins invests the piece with a Bartókian vigor and drive from first note to last’
Waiting (Tango for viola and double-bass) 1 movement, 4’30” Published by Comus Edition
‘… hauntingly memorable’ – THE STRAD
‘It’s wonderfully expressive of a hot night and the feeling of expectancy, that someone is about to step out of the dark’ – CLASSICAL NET
Shadows (viola, double-bass and piano) 1 movement 3’20” Published by McTier Music
(Also available in a transcription with ‘cello instead of double-bass from Comus Edition)
This is an atmospheric waltz written in response to Ursula Vaughan Williams’ poem ‘Ainsi le bon temps regrettons’
Cortège? (violin and piano) 1 movt 5’30” Recorded on Meridian CDE 84513 by Siân Philipps and published by Comus Edition
BoBop (solo violin or viola) 2005, 4’30” a bebop-influenced show piece recorded by Thomas Gould 2014 for Champs Hill Records. Published by Comus Edition
‘… the breakneck work is demanding in its use of octaves, double stops and left- and right-hand pizzicatos. Nonetheless, Bobop lies well on the instrument.’ – Stringendo Magazine
Tri (six violas), 2007, three movements. c.10’00”. The first movement was premiered at the International Music Academy of Solsona in Spain in 2007 and later by the violas of the Helsinki Symphony Orchestra. All three movements were performed at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2008, at the Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and at the Guildhall School of Music in both 2016 and 2017.
Score and parts are available from Comus Edition.
Coronach (viola and harpsichord) One movement c. 3′
Originally for treble recorder and harpsichord now recomposed with viola. A coronach is a celtic lament, but this one becomes quite powerful and dramatic.
Simplicius Simplicissimus 2018 (Bflat clarinet with string orchestra or piano c. 6 mins)
A very dramatic piece based on the extraordinary Adventures of Simplicius Simplicissimus, the 17th-century story of a young boy travelling through a world ravaged by the Thirty Years’ War and the appalling things he both sees and does.
The Dong with a Luminous Nose 2018 (baritone and Bflat clarinet, also an alternative version for soprano voice and soprano saxophone c. 10 mins)
The surprisingly lyrical, and ultimately sad, Edward Lear poem – much more than mere nonsense!
Sonata Serenata (flute and piano, 3 movements, 11’40”)
The first performance was in 2017 with Nancy Ruffer (flute) and Dominic Saunders (piano) at St John’s Hampstead.
Score and parts are available from OnlineSheetMusic.
Hear the first movement played by Aoife ni Raghaill, flute and David Jones, piano:
Clarinet Sonata (clarinet and piano, 3 movements c. 10’00”)
Written in 1972, this sonata had its first performance in 2016(!) at the Chapel Royal in Brighton with Steve Dummer (clarinet) and Yoko Ono (piano) and was repeated by them soon afterwards.
Hear the third movement in Soundcloud
Clarinet Concerto (clarinet and string orchestra, 3 movements, c. 14′
First performed by Daphne Down in 1973. 2nd performance (!) in 2018 by Steve Dummer and The Musicians of All Saints.
In Touch 2016 (clarinet, ‘cello and piano, 9’)
Three movements: ‘Touching In’, ‘Don’t Touch’ and ‘Touch and Go’.
Americana 2015 (for five flutes – 2 flutes, 2 alto flutes, 1 bass flute. 3 movements, c. 6′)
Three short pieces with an American feel. c. 7mins. First performance by Sussex Flutes, March 2016.
Published by Comus Edition
Three brief pieces for 2 clarinets (B flat)
Prelude, Tango and Ragtime
Coronach 2015 (treble recorder and harpsichord, 1 movement, c. 6’00”)
Composed in 2015 for the outstanding British recorder player, John Turner, who gave the premiere performance of ‘Coronach’ in September 2015. The title refers to the traditional improvised singing at a wake in the Highlands of Scotland and in Ireland.
Published by Comus Edition
Brief Encounters (flute and viola, 3 movements 5’30”)
Witty, perhaps, and tricky, ‘Brief Encounters’ is recorded on the ‘Voices from the Sea’ CD played by Nancy Ruffer and Paul Silverthorne.
Please contact me for score and parts.
The three Brief Encounters of flute and viola move from coquettish flirtation to friendly intercourse, and finally enthusiastic integration – GRAMOPHONE
Disturbed Nights (solo oboe or oboe plus string trio, 1 movement c. 5’00”)
Published by Elysian Edition in 2014 in the original solo oboe version and in a later version with added string trio (the oboe part remains the same) which has been performed by the Orchestra of St John’s chamber group. The solo version was recorded by Chris O’Neal on the ‘Voices from the Sea’ CD.
Labyrinth (cor anglais and piano, 1 movement c. 4′) 2017
A winding and unwinding single movement: atmospheric and dramatic. Score and parts from me.
Overture, Tragedy and Farce (wind ensemble, 3 movements c. 5′)
2 flute parts, 2 oboes, 4 clarinets, 1 bassoon, 2 horns. As many of each as available! Score and parts available from me.
Party Piece (clarinet and 2 violas, 4’30”)
One movement with a slightly wild ‘klezmer’ slant
These Lovers (flute and ‘cello, c. 5’00”) – also rewritten for violin and ‘cello in 2016.
Tatiesque (flute, oboe and piano, 1 movement, 4′.00)
This is a quick, tuneful bonne-bouche tribute to the great French film maker, Jacques Tati. 2011 – first performed by the trio Trittico
Romcon (flute. clarinet and bassoon, 1 movement c. 3’30”) 2017
As its name implies, this is a light piece for woodwind trio rather in the Françaix style. The protagonists never quite agree on key or time signature but there is a happy ending. Score and parts from me.
Night Run (B flat clarinet and piano, 2’00)
Published in Faber Music’s very successful ‘Unbeaten Tracks’ series
Romantique 2017 (Flute, Viola, Piano) 1 movement 3’30”
Short, romantic and slightly antique. First performed by the Duruflé Trio in June 2018.
Miniataur 2017 (Bass Clarinet, ‘cello and 1 timp.) 1 movement 1’40”
Fast, furious and dramatic: this time Theseus does not escape …
First performance by The Riot Ensemble 28th October 2017.
Palinode 2011 (Flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano) 1 movt 6’00. Commisioned by, and first performed at, the Presteigne Festival 2011
‘Tautly-argued and endowed with sufficient incident to fuel a piece several times its length’
TEMPO Jan. 2012
Score and parts published in 2015 by Comus Edition.
Shadows (viola, double-bass and piano) 1 movt 3’20” Published by McTier Music
Also available in a transcription with ‘cello instead of double-bass from Comus Edition
Silk Road 2013 (tenor voice, violin, viola, ‘cello and piano) c. 5mins.
See my vocal music.
In Touch 2016 (clarinet, ‘cello and piano). 9 minutes. Three movements ‘Touching In’, Don’t Touch and ‘Touch and Go’.
Rintrah Roars 2016 (soprano with harp and piano) c. 1.5 mins. The words are taken from Blake’s ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ and make for a short, dramatic, rhetorical piece. Now also recomposed in a version with piano only and included in the song cycle ‘Portions of Eternity‘
Mouth Piece is a short (c. 3 min) showpiece for trumpet (C) and piano. Written in 2017 it moves between bluesy and toccata styles. First performance was by Fraser Tannock and Terence Allbright in September 2017.
A Walk with Ingres’ Wife (brass quintet) c. 7’00 Available from Onlinesheetmusic.com
Sortie (trumpet and organ) c. 5’00” is available on the CD ‘North Star’ on the Deux-Elles label (DXL 1097) played by Deborah Calland.
The Dong with a Luminous Nose 2018 (baritone and clarinet, also an alternative version for soprano and soprano saxophone c. 10 mins)
The surprisingly lyrical, and ultimately sad, Edward Lear poem – much more than mere nonsense!
Kiss Me on Wednesday 2017 (voice and keyboard c.12 mins)
Seven Songs for Grownups
With words by Alison Rutherford, these cabaret-style songs range from the sentimental to the downright frightened.
‘Kiss me on Wednesday, don’t kiss me now
Let me anticipate the where when and how …’
Portions of Eternity 2017 (voice and piano, c. 7 mins)
‘Rintrah Roars’ having been performed, (see below) I have rewritten it for voice and piano (without harp) and added two further songs on Blake texts – ‘The Bard’ (from ‘Songs of Experience’) and ‘Thel’ – to complete the cycle.
Rintrah Roars 2016 (soprano with harp and piano c. 1½ mins)
The words are taken from Blake’s ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ and make for a short, dramatic, rhetorical piece. First performed by April Fredrick and the Riot Ensemble in 2016.
Silk Road 2013 (Tenor with violin, viola, ‘cello and piano c. 5 mins)
An intriguing double commission for both Cecilia McDowall and myself to write settings of the same poem! The poem, by Sarah Pope, is powerfully atmospheric and was commissioned, like the music, by violist and music publisher John Harding in memory of his sister Pauline. John worked for many years in China for the BBC.
‘Riding the silk we invade islands,
Float on the air’s charm.
Samarkand to Aksu and Miran …’
Envoi (orchestral song cycle for high voice and strings, c. 12 mins)
Four poems about death, ending in calm, by Elizabethan poets – Quarles,Tichborne, Southwell and Shakespeare
Both Beauties (song cycle for high voice and piano, c. 10 mins)
Poems about music by various authors, including Herrick, Shakespeare, Tennyson and Marvell.
The Unknown Bird (song cycle for baritone with flute, viola and harp c. 10 mins)
Three poems by Edward Thomas: ‘Like the touch of rain’, ‘Out in the dark’ and ‘The Unknown bird’ . There will be a performance at the Petersfield Festival Hall, on Friday 17 March 2017 as part of the commemoration of the centenary of Edward Thomas’ death.
Voices from the Sea (song cycle for tenor with string orchestra) words by merchant seamen See recordings.
The Bed Bug (for soprano, 2 cl, vla, vcl, CB, c. 3 mins)
Words by Tony Harrison. Written for and first performed by The Composers Ensemble
Gospel and Collect (for Soprano and Organ: words from the Book of Common Prayer c.3 mins) First performed in the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music May 9th 2006
Kiss Me on Wednesday (six cabaret songs for voice and keyboard) words by Alison Rutherford
The Seafarer (cantata for tenor soloist with SATB choir and chamber orchestra (fl/ob/cl/bsn/hn/tpt/timp/strings) c. 30′
The libretto dramatically contrasts words from the Anglo-Saxon ‘The Seafarer’ and the short story ‘Letter Unsigned’ by Liverpool seaman, poet, actor and activist George Garrett. This, the final part of my Sea trilogy, is still looking for its first performance, but I have extracted one section [‘Fate is More Strong’] as an anthem for unaccompanied SATB choir, and this was first sung by the choir of Westminster Abbey. Score and parts available.
This World (for SATB choir, including two soprano soloists, with 2 trumpets) words from William Blake and the Book of Job c. 9 mins. Broadcast by the BBC Singers.
Score and parts available from Comus Edition
Perhaps in Hope (anthem for Remembrance Day for SATB choir): words by Penny Britten. First performed by the choir of St Margaret’s Westminster.
I Know What I Like (SATB choir) an imitative history of music in variations on Schubert’s ‘An die Musik’.
‘For These …’ (SATB choir) blends words from the Te Deum and war poet Edward Thomas. Commissioned and performed many times (including at Liverpool Cathedral) by the Manchester-based choir Alteri. Available from OnlineSheetMusic.com.
Another New Year (SATB choir) c. 3 mins First performed by the Petrus Singers 2004.
Sense and Nonsense (SATB choir) poems by Mervyn Peake.
Virtue, Denial, The Call and Doomsday (SATB) Poems by George Herbert) c. 7 mins.
First Performed by Alteri 2004. Published by Fountayne Editions 2014.
The Song of Three (SATB choir, violin, flute and speaking/clapping chorus, 2017, c. 5 mins), uses a Sussex folk song ‘The Seasons of the Year’ [traditional words and tune] together with a setting [by me] of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Song of Three’ – the three in question being the weald, the marsh and ‘the white chalk coast’. Some great Sussex words creep in – ‘tossicated’, ‘flittermouse’, ‘beazeled’ and ‘dumbledore’! First performed in Alfriston (Sussex) in 2017, immediately followed by performances in the (also Sussex) towns of Uckfield and Horsham.
Marcel Morceaux (piano solo) 2016 6’30”
Three pieces for piano with a French attitude – ‘Arrière Pensée’, ‘Idées Fixes’ and ‘Aide-Mémoire’ – available from me
Variations (piano solo) 1 movt 12’00”
‘a minor masterpiece in its own right’ MUSICWEB December ’03
Veiled Lightning (organ) a large-scale virtuoso organ piece in 1 movement 7’00”
Footnote (organ) 1 movt 3’00 was one of the eight winners (out of 98 submissions!) of the 2007 ‘Handel-Inspired’ competition. The piece was recorded by Paul Ayres and is available on CD from PaulAyres.co.uk
Lost in Translation (piano solo) 1 movt 2’00 was written for the 2009 Presteigne Festival in celebration of Haydn’s 200th and John McCabe’s 70th birthdays. The Birmingham Post called it ‘A muscularly rigorous questioning of tonality.’
‘… an endlessly fascinating stream of sounds’
MUSIC AND MUSICIANS
Urizen (versions for solo viola with string orchestra or mixed chamber orchestra) published by Comus Edition.
The first performance of the version with string orchestra was by the Orpheus Chamber orchestra in the USA
‘… a late-twentieth-century musical gem … Immensely gratifying musically’
Another Orpheus (string orchestra with obligato viola solo) 1 movement 8’00”. 1993, rewritten 2014.
First performance by The Musicians of All Saints 2017
Laments and Scherzos (Chamber Orchestra 2 oboes, 2 horns and Strings) 2017 2 movts c. 10 mins
Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra, 3 movements, c. 14′
First performed by Daphne Down in 1975. 2nd performance (!) in 2017 by Steve Dummer and the Musicians of All Saints.
Echoes a chamber opera for two sopranos, mezzo-soprano, tenor and chamber group (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, trombone and harp). Libretto by Anne Harris. c.25 minutes. Commissioned by and performed in Covent Garden’s ‘Garden Venture’ series at the Riverside Studios in 2009.
‘. . . a wealth of opportunities, readily seized, for economical but effective musico-dramatic gestures … All make their evocative points in an instant’ – THE OBSERVER
‘Echoes achieves a genuinely moving balance between bathos and emotion’ – CITY LIMITS
Zoo Tunes (Boosey & Hawkes) for beginners . ‘Donkey Drive’ from this book has been chosen for Associated Board grade II ‘
… cleverly composed and often unpredictable … Recommended.’
MUSIC TEACHER MAGAZINE
Tales from King Arthur (piano duet) – intermediate level duets
Contact me for printed copies.
Trumpet: Trickster and Trumpet Serenade (arrangement of Matthew Dubourg (both in B&H Practice Sessions series)
‘Samba-Cha’ and ‘Least said…’ for trumpet and piano written for publishers Stainer and Bell published in 2007.
‘The wide variety of compositional approaches is exemplified by John Hawkins’s minimalist writing. ‘Least Said’ is energetically purposeful … in contrast to his more carefree relaxed ‘Samba-Cha’.
MUSIC TEACHER MAGAZINE
‘Parades’ for trumpet and piano is published in Faber Music’s ‘Fingerprints’ series
Movie Spooks, Worksong and Nostalgia (all in the B&H Woodwind method series, edited by Peter Wastall, for flute, clarinet or saxophone)
Saxophone: Parisienne (B&H Practice Sessions series)
Clarinet: Brazilienne, Gossips, Habanera (B&H Practice Sessions),
Night Run Published in Faber Music Unbeaten Tracks series
Flute: Romance (B&H Practice Sessions)
Recorder: several pieces in Old Macdonald’s Recorder Book (Boosey & Hawkes)
‘Break Even’ for saxophone and piano was written for Faber Music’s ‘Fingerprints’ series (published in 2006).
The Circus Ghosts (a workshop opera, first used at the London Centre for Young Musicians). Words by Penny Britten
Snails’ Trails and Dragons Tails (choir and easy string orchestra). Words by Penny Britten
Autumn Serenade and Summer Serenade (in B&H ‘Session Time’ for Strings)
Observations five intermediate level (grade 6) pieces for violin and piano
St Christopher’s Suite: first-position pieces for string orchestra (commissioned by St Christopher’s School Hampstead)
Currently one of my favorite British composers, John Hawkins, a student of Lutyens and Malcolm Williamson, has built an impressive body of work and a solid reputation among British musicians … a roster of distinguished performers champion his work. CLASSICAL NET 2007