From the Sleevenotes: The Music of Colin Hand

Andrew Mayes’ sleevenotes from Prima Facie PFCD194, The Music of Colin Hand

Colin Hand

Colin Hand (1929 – 2015) was born in Winterton, North Lincolnshire. Though he showed an early interest in music (he played the viola in his school orchestra) and started to compose at the age of twelve, his initial intention was to study for a career in biochemistry. Nevertheless, he eventually turned to music and studied the organ with Dr Melville Cook, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from Trinity College, Dublin. After qualification he spent fifteen years as a lecturer in further education and another fifteen years (part-time) as an examiner for Trinity College of Music, London. He composed steadily throughout his career and his works, exceeding 260 opus numbers, include choral, orchestral, organ, chamber music and songs. He also composed and arranged a significant amount of music for teaching purposes. In the 1970s he carried out extensive research on the composer John Taverner (c 1490 – 1545) and Renaissance music, for which he was awarded a PhD. His subsequent book John Taverner his Life and Music was published by Eulenburg Books, London, in 1978. After retirement from official posts, he continued as a freelance composer and lived in Sibsey near Boston in Lincolnshire, where he had close connections with the music at St Botolph’s church – the famous Boston ‘stump’.

Petite Suite Champêtre (Op. 67)

Petite Suite Champêtre (Op. 67) – for recorder, violin, cello and harpsichord. Hand first met recorder pioneer Carl Dolmetsch in the mid-1960s and almost immediately composed his Sonata Piccola (Op. 63) for treble recorder and piano for him. It was soon followed by the Petite Suite Champêtre in its original scoring for descant recorder and piano. At that time Dolmetsch and harpsichordist Joseph Saxby frequently performed with the Schoenfeld sisters from California; Alice, a violinist, and Eleonore, a cellist. Dolmetsch suggested to Hand that an arrangement for recorder, violon, cello and harpsichord would be an attractive addition to the ensemble’s repertoire. A manuscript score and parts in this form are retained in the Dolmetsch archives, but there is, in addition, a part for tenor viol as an alternative to the cello. This appears to have been to enable the piece to be given its first performance at the Dolmetsch Foundation AGM in 1968 by Carl with his twin daughters Jeanne (violin) and Marguerite (tenor viol), and Joseph Saxby. Marguerite explained that she had, at that time, not yet taken up the bass viol (the obvious alternative to the cello), hence the scoring for tenor viol. The recorder and piano version was published by Boosey and Hawks in 1971, but the ensemble version remains unpublished. Its four brief movements, have a strong dance element and capture the rustic charm of the French baroque, albeit with hints of a more contemporary character.

Concerto Cantico (Op. 112)

Concerto Cantico (Op. 112) – for recorder and string quartet, was commissioned by Carl Dolmetsch for his 1984 Wigmore Hall recital, at which it received its premiere on 23rd March with the Florizel String Quartet. Hand completed the work in good time and sent the score to Dolmetsch in November 1983, noting that he hoped the piece would not be “too jolly”, though making no apology for “what is in effect a piece of light music – quite unsophisticated.” In his programme note Hand observed that, as the title implied, the music emphasised the singing quality of the recorder, and that there were passages that drew upon the character of birdsong – “a subject close to the heart of the dedicatee.” Though Dolmetsch welcomed the new work, the impression it had made on the audience and the favourable reviews it received, Hand felt it had been composed too quickly and contained weaknesses in material and structure, eventually withdrawing it. When, in 2001, the present writer contacted Hand about the work, while researching a book on the repertoire composed for Dolmetsch, the composer’s interest was rekindled and he began to consider making the revisions he originally felt necessary. Nevertheless, it was a drawn-out process and he didn’t arrive at a version with which he was satisfied until 2010 – it was among the last compositional activities he undertook. The original version had two movements, of which the second had a slow introduction with a cadenza. The most far-reaching modification was the replacement of this introduction and cadenza with a new independent slow movement. Even after revision, the first movement is perhaps a little protracted, but the most appealing movement is the last, which reminds strongly of the finale of Gordon Jacob’s Suite for recorder and string quartet – its 6/8 time signature, metronome mark of dotted minim = 80 and the similarity of elements of the recorder’s melodic line. Jacob was a composer Hand knew personally, and revered.

Quartet (Op. 252a)

Quartet (Op. 252a) – for recorder, violin, cello and piano. Originally titled Variations on the Triad (Op. 252), this work dates from April 2004, but was revised (acquiring an ‘a’ suffix to its opus number) and retitled Quartet in March 2006, when it received its dedication to the memory of Edgar Hunt (1909-2006) a significant and influential personality in the recorder revival. It is in six short movements: the first declamatory, the second playful, the third a pensive siciliano (for recorder, violin and cello), the fourth jig-like. the fifth, a revery for recorder and piano with perhaps just a hint of blues. The finale is in ternary form, with energetic outer sections framing a reflective interlude. Following a restatement of the opening, the music leads, via a series of powerful chords, to an affirmative conclusion.

Three Songs to poems by John Fletcher (Op 91) Three Lieder (Op. 258)

Songs occupied Hand for most of his compositional career, and unison songs accounted for many of his earliest published works. His earliest solo song setting was of three poems by John Fletcher for high voice and piano: ‘Hymn to Pan’, ‘Aspatia’s Song’ and ‘God Lyaeus’. A note in his carefully annotated list of works records that these dated back to 1954, but were revised on several occasions before reaching their final form in 1990 and designated as Op 90. On the way, there was a version for voice and recorder, and an even later version, with high voice, recorder and piano, was completed in 2004 as Three Songs to poems by John Fletcher (Op 91). In this final form they are especially effective, ‘Aspatia’s Song’ is profoundly expressive. Lesley-Jane Rogers gave the first performance of this final version, with John Turner, recorder, and Keith Swallow, piano, in a recital at St Ann’s church Manchester in September 2005. Hand showed his gratitude by composing and dedicating to Lesley-Jane (as he noted ‘without permission’) his Three Lieder (Op. 258) for soprano voice and piano, setting poems by Vivian Locke Ellis (1878-1950) – ‘Dark Sunset’, ‘Waves’ and ‘This Sad Serenity’. The music is of considerable intensity – voice and piano combining to express Locke Ellis’s sad and reflective poems, with which Hand seems to have particularly identified. In the letter to Lesley-Jane with which he enclosed the songs, Hand noted, “I feel they mirror my present stylistic approach – the Fletcher songs are from a classic stable, whereas now I think I have grown (matured?) into a more romantic composer in which melody and harmony are more wayward and visionary.” They were first performed by Lesley-Jane Rogers in November 2009 with Richard Uttley, piano, at a recital in Robinson College Chapel, Cambridge, (as part of the Cambridge Festival).

Angelus (Op. 251)

As a New Year gift to Carl Dolmetsch in 1971, Hand composed his Plaint for tenor recorder and harpsichord. It has become one of his best-known and frequently played recorder works. In a letter to Hand in 2003 the present writer suggested that a companion piece to Plaint would be a very welcome addition to the tenor recorder’s repertoire. It was just a passing comment, but in February 2004 Hand responded enclosing an entirely new work, Angelus (Op. 251) a ‘vocalise’ for tenor recorder and piano, dedicated to the present writer. Its inspiration was a poem of the same title by Vivian Locke Ellis, the words of which could alternatively be sung by a high voice to the recorder’s melodic line (Op. 251a). Hand advised that in this form it could be included between the first and second songs of his Three Lieder. Both the recorder and vocal versions have been recorded here, enabling the latter to be programmed into the Three Lieder should the listener wish to hear it as the composer alternatively suggested. It is in 7/4 time throughout, and the piano part is set out on three staves, the left hand constantly reaching over to play incessant open fifth A and E crotchets on the third and seventh beats of each bar, representing the Angelus bell. Hand was unusually enthusiastic about the piece (he was his own sternest critic) noting in his letter enclosing the score, “I feel this is the best of me.” The present writer gave the first performance (of the recorder version) with Maurice Hodges, piano, at a recital in the Michael House Centre, Cambridge in June 2004 (during that year’s conference of the UK section of The European Recorder Teachers’ Association).

Three Bird Songs (Op. 259)

Hand’s Three Bird Songs (Op. 259) for soprano voice, recorder and piano, set poems by Thomas Hardy: ‘I watched a Blackbird’, ‘The Darkling Thrush’ and ‘Proud Songsters’. They were composed in response to a commission from the present writer. Early in 2005, having been left money by an aunt and, knowing her love of poetry and music, he considered that some songs to Hardy poems would provide a lasting tribute in her memory. Composition proceeded quickly, and the songs were completed by August 2005. They show Hand’s inventiveness: Hardy’s poem ‘I Watched a Blackbird’ begins with the words, ‘I watched a blackbird on a budding sycamore / One Easter Day’; the recorder’s opening melody is a decorated version of the tune to the first line of the Easter hymn ‘Jesus Christ is Risen Today’. The recorder is used very sparingly in ‘The Darkling Thrush’ and it does not enter until the beginning of the third verse: ‘At once a voice arose among / The bleak twigs overhead,’ with birdsong-like figuration. There is another similar passage eight bars later and also for the concluding four bars. The recorder plays for just fifteen out of ninety bars, but such restrained use makes its effect all the more telling. For the final song the recorder player requires a sopranino in addition to the descant. They do not enter until after the line ‘And the finches whistle in ones and pairs’, when they are played at first alternately in short trills, then at the same time, flutter tongued; an obvious, but very effective device with which the song also closes. The first performance was given in August 2006 by Lesley-Jane Rogers, John Turner and Stephen Bettany, at a lunchtime recital in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, as part of the ‘A Little Bite Music’ series.

Sonatella (Op. 265)

Towards the end of 1970 Hand took delivery of a small spinet which he had ordered from the Dolmetsch workshop. This doesn’t appear to have immediately inspired any works for ‘early’ keyboard instruments, though he had already composed his Toccatina (Op. 158) for harpsichord or piano in 1966, dedicated to harpsichordist Joseph Saxby, and also composed A badinage for Joseph to Play in 1982.

There is then a gap before he composed Five Portraits (Op. 264) for virginals or harpsichord in 2008 to a commission from harpsichordist David Pollock. Interestingly, it makes use in one movement of material from Plaint. Hand followed this in 2009 with his Sonatella (Op. 265) for harpsichord or virginals. It is a short, single-movement work in sonata form which Hand dedicated as ‘An encore for David Pollock’. In his Will, Hand left his Dolmetsch spinet to the present writer. It is in excellent playing condition, and thus seemed an appropriate instrument on which to record the Sonatella. It is tuned to John Barnes’s Proposed J. S. Bach Temperament.

Two Songs to French Poems (Op. 267)

In November 2009 the present writer received a letter from Hand enclosing Two Songs to French Poems (Op. 267) for soprano voice, recorder and piano. He mentioned sorting through some books and finding a volume of short French poems which had been used by his wife Margaret when teaching some fifty years earlier. Two poems in particular, ‘Le Dimanche’ and ‘Le Moulin à Vent’, reminded him of the settings he had composed in the 1950s for unison voices and piano (Op.34). He now reworked them for solo voice, adding a part for recorder (descant or tenor). Also included were his own translations of the poems which provide English versions that fit the existing melodic vocal lines and maintain similar rhyming schemes. This new version received the dedication in French, á ma femme en mémoire. Hand’s letter noted that he had not been composing recently, adding rather touchingly, ‘I’m beginning to think I’ve had my say in that direction. I think the enclosed little songs are my limit now.’ Be that as it may, they are another example of the way in which he effectively recycled musical material in a very practical way. Though the English translations work well, we decided to record the original French, which Lesley-Jane found more appealing and appropriate, noting that the new dedication in memory of his wife was in French.

In Nomine 6 – The Taverner Sonata (Op. 127)

The organ was Hand’s first study instrument, of which he was an accomplished player. Nevertheless, although he produced many smaller-scale organ pieces and arrangements, some of an instructive nature, his more substantial compositions for the instrument are relatively few. By far the most impressive is In Nomine 6 – The Taverner Sonata (Op. 127). It is one of eight compositions for various instrumental forces founded on the plainsong cantus firmus employed in John Taverner’s Mass Gloria Tibi Trinitas. The sonata takes the form of an introduction, theme, seven variations and finale on the plainsong melody, in which organ sonorities and textures are explored to the full. Of note are Vario 2, a scampering, two-part canon in inversion for two manuals; Vario 5, presenting a decorated cantilena above a richly harmonised two-bar ostinato, and Vario 6, for pedals only, including double pedalling. It was composed in 1988 and dedicated to David Wright, organist of St Botolph’s Boston, and the organ rebuilt by Harrison and Harrison. Hand revised the work in 2004, a process he often undertook in his later years, sometimes with benefit. In the case of In Nomine 6, however, the revisions are not entirely convincing. Organists to whom the present writer has shown both versions considered the original to be more effective and idiomatic. It was therefore decided to record this version.

Postscript

In his letter to Carl Dolmetsch with which Hand enclosed the score of Concerto Cantico, he observed, “the trouble with employing eclectic composers is that the end product can assume almost any form or style …” His considerable output exhibits a wide range of both (267 opus numbers, including arrangements) but is consistently imaginative and well-crafted. Hand’s comments in connection with the Three Leider, in which he noted his evolving compositional style, are certainly revealing. Although of necessity only a small selection of his works is presented on this CD, hopefully it will be sufficient to be reasonably representative. Some of the pieces were dedicated to and / or first performed by the musicians recorded here, and the direct link between composer and performers is significant.
Andrew Mayes ©

Performers

Lesley-Jane Rogers is heralded as one of the most versatile soloists of today, and is renowned for her captivating and evocative performances. An established concert soloist, she specialises in oratorio, “vocal concertos”, solo cantatas, recitals and contemporary music, and has a vast repertoire of several hundred works. She studied singing and piano at the Royal Academy of Music where she won several prizes, and has since been made an ‘Associate’ in recognition of her eminence in the profession. A keen exponent of contemporary music, Lesley-Jane has given very nearly 200 premières, and her discography numbers some 40 CDs, including several new-music releases for the specialist label Metier, as well as discs for the Divine Art, Toccata Classics, Campion/Cameo, Hyperion, Prima Facie and Carma labels.

John Turner is one of the leading recorder players of today. Born in Stockport, he was Senior Scholar in Law at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge before pursuing a legal career, acting for many distinguished musicians and musical organisations. He now devotes his time to playing, writing, reviewing, publishing, composing and generally energising. A considerable number of new works, including chamber music, concertos and works with orchestra have been written for him by Gordon Crosse, Anthony Gilbert, Peter Hope, Kenneth Leighton, Elis Pehkonen, Alan Bullard, John Casken, and many other distinguished composers. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Northern College of Music in 2002 for his services to British music, and is a Visiting Distinguished Scholar of Manchester University.

Emma McGrath – Heralded as a “First-magnitude star in the making” by the Seattle Times, British violinist Emma McGrath made her London debut aged 10 in the Purcell Room, and at 14 she performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, broadcast live on Classic FM. She has since performed as a soloist with numerous professional orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and has toured world wide as a soloist and chamber musician. Emma became the Concertmaster of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in 2016, having previously been the Associate Concertmaster/Acting Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony. She maintains an international Concertmaster career, having been Guest Concertmaster of many leading orchestras in the UK, Europe and the USA. A multi-faceted musician, Emma is also a professional singer, composer, folk musician, baroque violinist, conductor, and violinist with the Tasmanian String Quartet. When she is not making music, she enjoys hiking, and exploring Tasmania with her family.

Heather Bills was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and came to the UK to study at the RCM in London with Christopher Bunting and Amaryllis Fleming. In 1981 she won the Australia Prize of the Royal Overseas League competition. She attended various chamber music courses, working with such artists as Jacqueline du Pré, William Pleeth and the Beaux Arts Trio. In 1983 Heather became Co-principal ‘cellist of the Hallé Orchestra, staying until 1991 when she moved to Anglesey. Here she joined Ensemble Cymru and became Principal ‘cellist of the Welsh Chamber Orchestra. In 2008 she returned to Manchester where she continues to freelance and teach. With her husband, the pianist Harvey Davies, she is a founder member of the Pleyel Ensemble.

Harvey Davies studied the piano with Helen Davies and David Parkhouse then with Ryszard Bakst at the Royal Northern College of Music. He is well-known as a chamber musician and collaborative pianist and his work has taken him to four continents and throughout the UK. With his wife, the ‘cellist Heather Bills, Harvey founded the Manchester-based chamber group The Pleyel Ensemble in 2011. Comprising some of the finest string and wind players in the UK and specialising in British chamber music and lesser-known Classical works the Pleyels run a concert series in Didsbury and they were Making Music Featured Artists for 2019/20 for the second time in three years. The ensemble have recently completed a major project with the MPR label to record a four-CD set of the chamber music of the English composer Arnold Cooke. The recordings were released in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Most of the works recorded are World Première recordings. Harvey was awarded a PhD in Performance in 2022 from the RNCM and Manchester Metropolitan University for his work on the varied chamber music of Arnold Cooke. He has collaborated with many eminent musicians including the Alberni, Benyounes, Callino and Carducci Quartets, Atar Arad, Alison Balsom, James Bowman, Rebecca Evans, James Gilchrist, Janet Hilton, Guy Johnston, Jennifer Pike and Elena Urioste and as a freelance player, Harvey has worked with all the orchestras in the North West including the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, RLPO, Manchester Camerata, NCO and the contemporary music group Ensemble 10/10.

Tom Winpenny is Assistant Master of the Music at St Albans Cathedral where his duties include accompanying the daily choral services and directing the Cathedral Girls’ Choir. He studied as Organ Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge and he was subsequently Sub- Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, where he played for many great state occasions. He has broadcast regularly on BBC Radio and has been profiled on American Public Media’s Pipedreams. His recent solo engagements have included recitals Germany, Sweden, Italy and the USA. His many solo organ recordings include surveys of music by Judith Bingham, Malcolm Williamson, John Joubert, Elisabeth Lutyens, John McCabe, Peter Racine Fricker, Francis Grier, and Francis Pott’s monumental Passion Symphony Christus. For Naxos he has recorded five discs of music by Olivier Messiaen: his recording of Messiaen’s Les Corps glorieux was awarded five stars in the French journal Diapason, and Messiaen’s Livre d’orgue gained the editor’s ‘Star Review’ in Choir & Organ.

Poem Texts

Three Songs to Poems by John Fletcher

Hymn to Pan

Sing his praises that doth keep Our flocks from harm.

Pan, the father of our sheep; And arm in arm

Tread we softly in a round,
Whilst the hollow neighbouring ground Fills the music with her sound.

Pan, O great god Pan, to thee Thus do we sing!

Thou who keep’st us chaste and free As the young spring:

Ever be thy honour spoke
From that place the morn is broke
To that place day doth unyoke.
John Fletcher (1579 – 1625)

Aspatia’s Song

Lay a garland on my hearse
Of the dismal yew;
Maidens, willow branches bear;
Say, I died true.

My love was false, but I was firm
From my hour of birth.
Upon my buried body lie
Lightly, gentle earth!
John Fletcher

God Lyaeus

God Lyaeus, ever young,
Ever honour’d, ever sung,
Stain’d with blood of lusty grapes,
In a thousand lusty shapes.
Dance upon the mazer’s brim,
In the crimson liquor swim;
From thy plenteous hand divine
Let a river run with wine:
God of youth, let this day here
Enter neither care nor fear.
John Fletcher

Three Leider

1: Dark Sunset

This empty mind, unfurnish’d thought, Sad end of day,
I would I were that wild bird, under that cloud,
Over that sea, way and away,
To meet another sunrise, where clamorous and loud,
The eastern winds assemble, and tear up this earthly shroud.
Vivian Locke Ellis (1878-1950)

2: Waves

A lonely shore-man scans a sail-less sea.
Never return the dead never return.
On the dull sands the waves break heavily.
Never return the dead never return.
Hiss to his feet the swarming snakes of foam.
Never return the dead never return.
He stands. His eyes are dry, His lips are dumb.
Never return the dead never return.
March on, march on, the drum, the drum
Never return the dead never return.
Vivian Locke Ellis

3: This Sad Serenity

This sad serenity of February ev’ning
Suddenly flashes, as a dream from dreaming.
Earth smiles after punishment.
As lovers tease, to prove the often proven.
Snatch lips away.
Bright brows are knit are knit of questing clouds In mute confabulation.
The sun goes down
As a day labourer to his rest,
Plucking the bright fruit of blanched orchards.
It rains impalpably from English azure,
As though it were the sun himself were weeping.
Vivian Locke Ellis

Angelus

That breath of soft-blown flame
New-found on happy hearthstones in old shires.
The silver quires of dusk are not yet silent, and the Name Is said, to quiet children to their rest.
Another has not left the breast.
Heavily falls his land-boots on the step.
– The Master’s. – His voice tells sleep wisdom to the dawn,
And mutters grace to silence.
One plays an idle instrument.
Plays not but touches soft,
To put away again. It is an infant’s yawn.
The giant Earth-mother, it is her breath
Come with the Angelus on windward bells.
Muted as to the eternal questioning.
– The Eternal, sighing in his sleeplessness,
And as he held is hand one moment from its task.
– The God that needed Sabbath, when his plan
Resolved itself in man. – And has not rested since.
Vivian Locke Ellis

Three Bird Songs

I Watched a Blackbird

I watched a blackbird on a budding sycamore
One Easter Day, when sap was stirring twigs to the core;
I Saw his tongue, and crocus-coloured bill
Parting and closing as he turns his trill;
Then he flew down, seized on a stem of hay,
And upped to where his building scheme was under way,
As if so sure a nest were never shaped on spray.
Thomas Hardy

The Darkling Thrush

I lent upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.
The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.
At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
A far or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.
Thomas Hardy

Proud Songsters

The thrushes sing as the sun is going,
And the finches whistle in ones and pairs,
And as it gets dark loud nightingales
In bushes
Pipe, as they can when April wears,
As if all Time was theirs.

These are brand-new birds of twelve-months’ growing,
Which a year ago, or less than twain,
No finches were nor nightingales,
Nor thrushes, But only particles of grain,
And earth, and air, and rain.
Thomas Hardy

Two Songs to French Poems

Le dimanche

Le Samedi dit au dimanch:
“Tout le village est endorme,
L’ai guile vers minuit se penche;
C’est maintenant ton tour ami;
Moi, je suis las de ma journée,
Je veux aller dormi aussi.
“Viens vite, viens vite,
Ton heure est sonnée,”
Le dimanch edit, “me voici.”
Henri Murger (1822-1861)

Sunday

Said Saturday unto Sunday,
“All the village in slumber now lies.
The hour of midnight approaches
‘Tis your turn my friend to arise;
I am so tired of my journey,
I long for my head down to lie,
“Come quickly, come quickly,
For midnight is sounding,”
And Sunday replied, “Here am I”
Translation: Colin Hand

Le moulin à vent

Joli moulin à vent,
Planté sur la coline.
Vers le soleil levant,
Fais nous farine fine;
Pour que le pain soit blanc,
Joli moulin à vent.

Joli moulin à vent,
Sois au meunire fidéle,
Ne chôme pas souvent,
Et que tes grandes ailes
Tournent, tournent galement;
Joli moulin à vent.
Traditional

The Windmill

The Stately windmill
Standing on the hill,
Rising to greet the light,
Give us flour both soft and white
May our bread be whiter still
O lovely, stately mill.

Stately windmill
Do your master’s will
See your duty never fails,
Only keep your sweeping sails
Gaily, gaily turning still;
O lovely, stately mill.
Translation: Colin Hand

Album Credits

Concerto Cantico
Recorded in St Thomas’s Church, Stockport – 6th April 2018
Recording engineer – Richard Scott
Recorder – John Turner
Violins – David Routledge and Simon Gilks Viola – Steven Burnard
Cello – Svetlana Mochalova

Petite Suite Champêtre and Quartet
Recorded in St Paul’s Church, Heaton Moor – 16th December 2019
Recording engineer – Steve Plews
John Turner – recorders
Emma McGrath – violin
Heather Bills – cello
Harvey Davies – Harpsichord/Piano

In Nomine 6 – The Taverner Sonata
Recorded in St Albans Cathedral – October 11th 2021
Recording engineer – Steve Plews
Tom Winpenny – organ

All other tracks
Recorded in St Paul’s Church, Heaton Moor – 23rd August 2021
Recording engineer – Steve Plews
Lesley-Jane Rogers – soprano John Turner – recorders Harvey Davies – piano / spinet

Concerto Cantico first complete recording
In Nomine 6 – The Taverner Sonata first recording on CD
All other works premiere recordings

The cover photo, reproduced by permission, is a sunset view of the six-sail Trader Windmill in the village of Sibsey in Lincolnshire.

It was built in 1877 to replace an earlier mill on the site. In 2018 it suffered severe storm damage to the cap and sails, and a programme of restoration, begun in 2020, is presently in progress.

Further details can be found at: www.sibseytraderwindmill.co.uk and also on the website of English Heritage www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/sibsey-trader-windmill/