Choral Works

Magnificat (1996)

for unaccompanied choir SATB: pdf here

and listen to the Flemish Radio Choir’s recording here

My elder daughter, Rebecca, was cured of an extremely serious illness thanks to the magnificent medical team of the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam led by the Hungarian Dr Kardos. I couldn’t think of a better way of expressing my joy and relief at her recovery than by setting the text of the Magnificat, which seems to me to celebrate a young girl’s sense of wonder and thankfulness at being one of the lucky ones. The piece was published by the Flemish choral organisation Koor en Stem in 1997 and recorded by the fabulous Vlaams Radiokoor a couple of years later.

Nunc Dimittis (1999)

for unaccompanied choir SATB: pdf here

and listen to this performance of the Nunc Dimittis by the UK chamber choir Sine Nomine

A Magnificat feels a little lonely without a Nunc Dimittis, the two together being the customary canticles in use in the Anglican service of Evensong, so I wrote this companion piece for Rebecca’s sister, India Jane. At the time I was conductor of the UK amateur chamber choir Sine Nomine, who were kind enough to agree to sing the first performance. They made a very good job of it, as you can hear by clicking on the link above.

French Provincial Cooking (2008)

for unaccompanied choir SATB: download pdf here

Three recipes from Elizabeth David’s famous cookery book, first published in 1960, the texts reproduced by kind permission of the Elizabeth David Estate:  1. Belgian Endives,  2. Aubergines à la turque,  3. Pain grillé aux anchois

The cookery writer Elizabeth David (1913-1992) changed the face of English cooking for ever. She changed dull and dowdy to glamorous and gorgeous, just as she was. My mother had a row of her books on the windowsill. We ate aubergines and courgettes when everyone else was still on overcooked cabbage.

When the Flemish choral organisation Koor en Stem commissioned a choral piece for amateur choirs I decided to set one of her recipes: Belgian Endives really is the correct English name for chicory, or witloof as it's called in Dutch. The piece had some success so I wrote two companion recipes from Elizabeth David's famous book, and called the cycle French Provincial Cooking, with kind permission from the trustees of her estate.

The cycle is dedicated to my late mother, without whom I would never have had the idea.

Missa Brevis “The Bavo Mass” (2016)

download pdf file here

No recording yet, but here are some computer impressions: Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei

The choir of the Dutch Handel Society was on tour in Gent in May 2015. The canon of the St-Bavo Cathedral kindly gave the choir permission to sing a concert in the inspiring surroundings of this impressive, beautiful and historic church. To thank Ludo Collin for his generosity, we offered to provide the music for the service on the Sunday morning. A few months before we were to go I still hadn’t made a decision about which Ordinary we ought to sing at the service, so I decided to write one myself. A year later the choir sang this Mass in the equally magnificent St Bavo Basilica in Haarlem (NL). Hence the title “The Bavo Mass”. The work can of course be performed in a concert setting, but is in fact intended for liturgical use since the movements are all quite short.

Henry V for double choir SATB & tenor drum (2017)

commissioned by Koriolis Chamber Choir (Gent)

pdf file here

In late 2016 Joris Derder asked me to write a piece for his concert with Koriolis in June 2017. The theme of the project was to be WAR. I decided to write something that would put at least a slight positive spin on this most reviled of human activities. If we have to fight, as fight sometimes we must, then let it, please God, be under the inspired and eloquent leadership of Shakespeare's Henry V: resolute in action, unwavering in adversity, magnanimous in victory.

The Four Favours for SSAB & piano (2018)

pdf file here

to a text from Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan

Choral arrangements

Every time we say goodbye (Porter) arr. for SSAATTBB (1999)

download pdf here

no recording yet, but here’s a midi file to give you an idea

Regime change belongs to the normal course of events in opera houses. Elaine Padmore left her job as artistic director of the Royal Danish Opera in 1999 to move and triumph at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She made way for Kasper Holten, who himself moved to the ROH some years later. I was chorus master at the time and made this arrangement of Cole Porter’s fabulous song for Elaine’s farewell party. The chorus was full of big and beautiful Danish voices at the time so I made the arrangement as juicy as possible.

Embraceable You (Gershwin) arr. for SATB (2013)

download pdf file here

I made this Gershwin arrangment for Cantabile-Gent to sing at their New Year’s concert in 2013.

Weekend Claes a medley of santa claus songs for SSAA

download pdf file here

Carol Potpourri a medley of carols for SATB (2012)

download pdf here

1. Once in Royal David’s City 2. It came upon a Midnight Clear 3. God rest ye, Merry Gentlemen 4. Ding dong, merrily on high

Tired of separate carols for your Christmas concert? Try this medley, in which four of them are linked together continuously in this choral arrangement for unaccompanied SATB