Roger Marsh Composer

Compositions

The following is a list of principal works; there are some more to be found in the publishers’ catalogues, and there may be more in the composer’s cupboard.  Please feel free to enquire using the contacts page.

  • Ensemble

    • Kinshi for ensemble (2015) piccolo, bass clarinet, harp, 2 percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass guitar

      Commissioned by Vaganza, the new music ensemble of the University of Manchester.  Premiere on March 13th 2015 in a concert entitled ‘Eastern Exchanges’.  Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, University of Manchester, 7.30pm.

      https://soundcloud.com/stream

    • Running Jumping and Standing Still (2014) fl,cl,pf, perc, 2 vns, va, vc, bass guitar

      Three short movements:

      1. Running Jumping and Standing Still
      2. Descending
      3. Rising

      Descending is an ensemble version of the piano piece Descending HelvellynRising includes some theatricality – the players rise and walk strangely into the audience…..

      Commissioned by Late Music Concerts York.  Premiere by the Late Music Ensemble, conductor James Whittle,  July 5th 2014  Unitarian Chapel, York.  Duration c 10mins

      Soundcloud

    • De ereprijis

      What Charlie Did Next (2009) 2 fl, cl, 2 sax,trpt, horn, 2 trbn, tuba, perc, piano, electric guitar, bass guitar

      • Published by Edition Peters

      Commissioned by ‘De Ereprijs’ and premiered by them in Arnhem, Holland in October 2009, conducted by Wim Boorman.

    • Sukeroku (2000) Percussion Quartet

      A Japanese inspired quartet composed for Backbeat Percussion, who performed the piece widely in the UK and in Japan.  Only untuned percussion (and voices).  The title is taken from the Kabuki play Sukeroku, flower of Edo.  Duration c 14 minutes.  The piece is recorded on Hiten: NF61801  http://www.sa-cd.net/showtitle/2658

      Soundcloud

       

    • crossing-ohashi-bridge-cover

      Canto 1 for string ensemble (1999) String ensemble

      For eleven solo strings. Premiered by the Goldberg Ensemble, conducor Malcom Layfield, Huddersfield Festival Nov 24 1999.  Recorded on NMC D174   Duration 14 mins

    • Spin (1997) Solo Piano, fl,ob,cl,bsn, hn. tpt, tbn, 2 perc.

      for piano solo and 9 instruments. Commissioned by Ensemble Telemaque, Marseille. Premiere by Telemaque at Cite de la Musique, Marseille, 21 November 1997. Further performance at Ancona Festival, Italy, 29 September 1998. Performance by Capricorn, conductor Roger Marsh, University of York, Oct 21 1998.

    • Waiting for Charlie (1995) Fl, A fl,B Clar, A sax, Bari sax, hn, tpt, 2 tbn, tuba, pf, perc, elec.gtr, bass gtr.

      For 15 instruments.  Commissioned by the City of Apeldoorn (Netherlands) for ‘de ereprijs’ ensemble. Premiere in Alpeldoorn April 5 1996. Subsequent performances and broadcast on Dutch Radio. Performance in Moscow and Wroclaw September 1996. Recorded in public concert at BBC Radio Theatre, London, 11 January 1998. BBC Radio 3 broadcast 16 January 1998. (14 mins) CD ‘Going Up’. De ereprijs ensemble. KLIM OP 007

       

      Soundcloud

    • Kagura (1991) picc, fl, ob, cl, BClar, tpt, hn, tbn, pf, 2 perc, 2 vn, va, vcl, cbass

      Japanese inspired work for large ensemble, with percussionists playing large bass drums at either side of the ensemble.  Commissioned by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in association with Keele University and West Midlands Arts. First performance at the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, Sept 29 1991, conducted by Elgar Howarth. Subsequent performances by Black Hair ensemble, conducted by the composer.

  • Instrumental

    • But still….. (2017) Soprano, piano and viola

      • Published by Edition Peters

      Commissioned by Jin Hyung Lim for a programme dedicated to the music of Isang Yun. The piece uses texts from interviews given by Yun in 1977 in Germany, in which he describes the time he spent in prison in South Korea, after he was accused of espionage.  Premiere: National Centre for Early Music, June 6th 2017.

    • Cracks for Piano Trio (2016) Violin, Cello and piano

      • Published by Edition Peters

      Commissioned by the Bangor Festival of New Music for the Fidelio Trio, and premiered by them in the 2017 festival at Pontio.

    • Touch and Go (2014) Solo Piano

      • Published by Edition Peters

      Commissioned by Catherine Laws for the Orpheus Institute, Ghent.      Premiere in Ghent October 2nd 2014

    • Descending Helvellyn (2013) Solo piano

      This is a short piece (3 minutes) composed for the 80th birthday of Terry Holmes, a great champion of new music.

    • Sankyoku (2004) Flute Guitar and Percussion

      First performance April 2004 by The New Music Players, Bristol University. Duration c 9 mins

    • Atsumari (2003) O-Tsuzumi and percussion quartet

      Commissioned by Backbeat Percussion Quartet with Shonosuke Okura.  The solo part (for O-Tsuzume drum and voice) is freely notated and part improvised, against a fixed score for untuned instruments.   First performance in the Media Dome, Fukuoka, Japan, November 2003. CD recording Hiten: NF61801  c8 mins

       

    • Chaconne (1999) for solo violin

      c7 mins.   Listen to Peter Sheppard Skaerved’s 2005 performance.

    • Slow Right Arm (1997) Baroque Violin and Double Bass

      Commissioned by Barry Guy and Maya Homburger and premiered by them at the Hudderfield Contemporary Music Festival.   8 mins

    • 20-odd-years

      Hoichi for amplified alto flute (1992)

      Commissioned and premiered by Jos Zwaanenburg.  Based on the story ‘Hoichi the Earless’ from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn’s collection of Japanese ghost stories Kwaidan

    • Ferry Music (1988) for clarinet, cello and piano

      Musical ideas drawn from the theatre piece ‘Love on the Rocks’ and presented in five short movements.  Commissioned by GLAA for the Muhlfeld Trio. 1st performance at the Purcell Room, London, October 6th 1988. Duration: 9 minutes.

      Recorded on Clarinet Classics  CC0007

  • Multiple ensemble and soloists

    • pierrot-lunaire-cover

      Pierrot Lunaire – 50 Rondels Bergamasques (2002) Music theatre (2 hours) for various vocal forces

      Albert Giraud’s entire cycle ‘Pierrot Lunaire’ in French and English.  50 individual settings for various vocal combinations from solo voice to choir.  In two parts (approx 60 minutes each) the work is designed to be performed theatrically, though it works well as a concert piece and individual numbers can be performed separately or in various groupings.  Part One (2001) was commissioned by the Hilliard Ensemble for their ensemble singing summer school in Germany.  Part Two (2002) was completed for performance by students at the University of York and includes some additional instruments (violin, cello or viol da gamba, organ, percussion) used in one or two of the numbers.

      Gramophone review: http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/marsh-pierrot-lunaire

    • The Big Bang (1989) Music theatre (2 hours) for voices and large ensemble

      A dramatic oratorio for voices and instruments. Old Testament tales of love and intrigue.  Includes The Song of Debra, The Song of Abigail, Three Biblical Songs (psalms of love and war), The Wormwood and the Gall.

      Duration c 2 hours.   1st performance of Part One only, at the Norwich Festival of Contemporary Church Music, Norwich Arts Centre, July 1 1989.  Complete work premiered by students at the University of York November 1989.

       

       

       

    • Samson (1983) Music theatre (30 minutes) for voices and saxophone

      A dramatic oratorio in Japanese style.  Dramatic baritone (Samson: masked) soprano (Delilah) small female chorus, two basses, saxophone.   Includes Deliliah for soprano and saxophone (may be performed separately).

      Commissioned for VOCEM by the Arts Council of Great Britain. 1st performance at the 1984 Nettlefold Festival, 20 October 1984. Duration: 30 mins.

      A smaller version of this piece exists for Soloist (Samson) with 2 male percussionists.  This was premiered at the Ars Nova Festival in Brussels in 1992.

  • Orchestra

    • Heathcote’s Inferno (1996)

    • Espace (1994)

    • Stepping Out

      Stepping Out for piano and orchestra (1990)

      BBC commission for the 1990 Prom season.  Premiered by Martin Roscoe with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lothar Zagrosek.  Requires division of the orchestra into two, around a smaller chamber group including harp and percussion.  Duration c 14 minutes.

  • Solo voice

    • Walking Away (2015) Soprano and Marimba

      • Published by Edition Peters

      Composed for Ana Beard Fernandez and Zoe Craven, this is a set of three pieces:

      1 A flower for my daughter  (James Joyce)

      2 Walking Away (Norah Hanson)

      3 Lullaby (Thomas Dekker)

      Premiere May 1st 2015 at the National Centre for Early Music, York.

    • NMC Songbook cover

      Lullaby (2009)

      • Published by Edition Peters

    • Wiegenlied (2001)

    • Suicide (2001) for solo soprano

      This is piece 18 from Pierrot Lunaire.   It can be performed alone.

       

    • Sozu Baba (1996) for solo female voice (with drum)

      • Published by Novello

      A theatre piece for solo voice also playing drum. Text by Judith Woolf (English Department, University of York). Commissioned by Janice Jackson (Utrecht). Premiere at the Kikker Theatre, Utrecht, 31 March 1997. (20 mins).

    • Black Hair (piano version) (1995)

      Arranged for soprano and piano.

    • A Little Snow (1994)

      • Published by Edition Peters

      The text for this short piece for solo voice is the poem ‘Snow’ by the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra. It is from his ‘Canciones Rusas’ (1963-4) and the translation is by Miller Williams.  A Litle Snow was written for Anna Myatt in 1994.

      It has been performed many times and by many kinds of voices, and Jane Manning has written about the piece in her book New Vocal Repertory.  In 2016 Carmen Troncoso adapted the piece for vocalising recorder player.

    • Black Hair (1992) Voice, 2 clarinets, viola cello, double bass

      • Published by Novello

      Song based on the ghost story ‘Black Hair’ collected by Lafcadio Hearn and used in the film ‘Kwaidan’ by Kobayashi.  Lyrics by the composer.  Original version composed for Mary Weigold and the Composers Ensemble and scored for 2 cl, va, vc, cbass and soprano.  Also a version for soprano and piano (as in the recording here, sung by Anna Myatt).  Other arrangements also exist.

    • Dum (1977) Solo voice

      • Published by Novello

      A vocal percussive fantasy for solo performer.  Requires props (a solid lectern, a hammer, a bucket full of metal objects, a tam tam etc).

    Vocal ensemble

    • Poor Yorick (2013) TTTB + TTTBB

      • Published by Edition Peters

      A capella setting of passages from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:  Time wastes too fast….. and The Death of Yorick.  For the Hilliard Ensemble’s 40th birthday.  For 8 or 9 voices (Hilliard Ensemble and Friends).  Premiere at Spitalfields, London, December 2013.

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      Il Cor Tristo (2008)

      For the four voices of the Hilliard Ensemble (ct, 2 ten, bass).  This is a setting of Dante’s Inferno cantos xxxii and xxxiii (slightly abridged).  In the original Italian, the text is set syllabically throughout and with unadorned simplicity, so that the narrative can be followed by the listener.  The piece was commissioned by Sagra Musicale Umbra and first performed in Perugia, Italy on Sept 15th 2008.  The Hilliards have performed the piece throughout Europe, and recorded it for ECM in 2012 in Sankt Gerold, Austria.

      Gramophone Review: http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/il-cor-tristo

       

    • Hold Me Tight (2000)

    • Love on the rocks (1989)

    • Not a soul but ourselves… (1977)

    Voice and ensemble

    • But still….. (2017) Soprano, piano and viola

      • Published by Edition Peters

      Commissioned by Jin Hyung Lim for a programme dedicated to the music of Isang Yun. The piece uses texts from interviews given by Yun in 1977 in Germany, in which he describes the time he spent in prison in South Korea, after he was accused of espionage.  Premiere: National Centre for Early Music, June 6th 2017.

    • Gaia Songs (2017) Soprano and Marimba

      Seven songs for soprano and marimba.  Settings of new poems by Gaia Blandina. Written for Angelica Cathariou.  Premiere May 28th 2017, cmrc York.

      The songs are: 1 Mnemosine 2 Tormalina 3 Recordare 4 Carbonio 5 Carta 6 Quarzo  7 Senza se.

    • Lamentations (2011)

      Performed by Angelica Cathariou

    • The Song of Abigail (1986)

    • The Wormwood and the Gall (1981)

    • A Psalm and a Silly Love Song (1979) Soprano, Mezzo, fl, cl, tpt, harp, viola, cello

      Three movements for Soprano, Mezzo and small ensemble.  Movements 1 and 3 set text from Psalm 39.  The middle movment is an arrangement of Another Silly Love Song, whose text is by St Bernard of Clairvaux: ‘I love because I love.  I love that I may love’.  The title is a reference to Paul McCartney’s Silly Love Songs (with permission): You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs…….. ‘

      Commissoned by Lontano and premiered by them with Rosemary Hardy (Sop), Linda Hirst (mezzo); conductor Odaline de la Martinez.

    Chamber choir

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      A Lyke Wake Dirge (2010) for 24 voices

      Available on New Music for Old York, performed by The 24.