Prima Facie

CDs with online ordering

Music by David Beck (PFCD109)

Performed by Zephyr, The New World String Quartet, Camerata Nova Chamber Orchestra


1-3 Nonet
4-7 String Quartet No.2
8-11 Partita
12-16 Bagatelles
17-20 Carols for Strings

Nonet - Zephyr Winds, directed by Chris Swann
String Quartet No.2 - New World String Quartet, leader Andrew Long
Partita - Camerata Nova Chamber Orchestra
Bagatelles - New World String Quartet, leader Andrew Long
Carols for Strings - Camerata Nova Chamber Orchestra

Music by David Beck CD

David Beck was an established, Manchester-based composer - a composer's composer. We would like to share this portrait of an unsung hero. On this composer portrait compilation, Chris Swann directs Zephyr (and also plays the clarinet, beautifully) in the première recording and release of David's 'Nonet'.

Prima Facie is grateful for financial assistance from the Ida Carroll Trust.

Recorded and Produced by Richard Scott and Phil Hardman
Cover Photo - David Beck

David Beck

David Beck
David Beck (1941-2021) was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and spent most of his schooldays in East Kent. As a young viola player in The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain his interest in composition was greatly stimulated by contact with Herbert Howells. He was a Music Scholar at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, where his teachers included Patrick Hadley and Peter Tranchell. After graduating, he stayed on at Cambridge to take the degree of Mus B. in composition and performance. For many years he was an orchestral violinist in the North-West of England, being a member of both the Hallé and BBC Northern (later Philharmonic) Orchestras, as well as the Manchester Camerata, in addition to freelance work. In his compositions he reacted strongly against the avant-gardism of the 1960s and later, but without quite embracing the tenets of the minimalists. He wrote works for the Hallé Brass Quintet, the Hallé Wind Quintet, the Warwickshire Schools String Orchestra, and the Northern Chamber Orchestra. He composed much chamber music, including two string quartets and two wind quintets. His many compositions for the recorder include Flights of Fancy for recorder and harpsichord, a sonata for solo recorder, two quintets for recorder and strings, as well as two substantial concertos for the instrument, the first of which, subtitled Flûte-à-Beck, was recorded by John Turner with the Camerata Ensemble, conducted by Philip Mackenzie, on Dutton CDLX 7154 (British Recorder Concertos).