Category Archives: Orchestral

The Periodical Overtures in 8 Parts

This is an exciting long term publishing project in conjunction with the musicologist Dr Alyson McLamore and the publishing house Musikproduktion Höflich. Join us on this journey of rediscovery of music from the London scene during the Rage for Music in the second half of the 18th century.

The Periodical Overtures in 8 Parts is a remarkable series of sixty-one orchestral symphoniespublished in London by Robert Bremner between 1763 and 1783. In essence, it was a symphony-of-the-month publication over this twenty-year period, capturing the musical tastes of London during the era’s Rage for Music. Bremner was inspired to undertake the series after witnessing the success on the continent of similar French periodical prints. In England, however, Bremner’s series went unrivalled for a decade, and no other later British publisher came close to matching his success with this periodical format.

From the start, Bremner promised to issue works that had never been printed in Britain and that were composed by “the most celebrated Authors.” He honoured both of those commitments, and by 1783, the Periodical Overtures represented some twenty-eight well-regarded composers from across Europe. To accommodate smaller orchestras, the symphonies were usually limited to eight parts, representing first and second violins, viola, bass, a pair of oboes, and a pair of horns, although a few additional instruments began appearing in various issues as British ensembles grew more ambitious.

Bremner also catered to a generally conservative British taste by adding figured bass if it were not already present and sometimes reducing the number of movements to three. The works were widely performed, appearing in the records of concert organizations in England, Scotland, and even in the American colonies. Late in the century, several of the most popular issues were arranged for keyboard, reflecting not only the increasing number of pianos in private homes, but also the Periodical Overtures’ staying power.

The objective of these Periodical Overtures Editions in the Repertoire Explorer Series published by Musikproduktion Höflich is to make this unique collection of orchestral works easily accessible and affordable. The Periodical Overtures Editions enrich the repertoire available to chamber orchestras, professional and amateur alike, providing them with valuable historical and musical insights as well as much delightful music-making, a great deal of which is unknown to contemporary audiences and performers.

Scores and parts are available from Musikproduktion Höflich. Audio renditions of each overture are available on this page as they are published.

The Periodical Overture in 8 Parts – Number IV: Anton Fils (Filtz)

The Periodical Overture in 8 Parts – Number III: Johann Stamitz

The Periodical Overture in 8 Parts – Number II: Francesco Ricci

The Periodical Overture in 8 Parts – Number I: Johann Christian Bach

Coming soon…..

May 2024

The Periodical Overture in 8 Parts – Number V: Pietro Maria Crispi

June 2024

The Periodical Overture in 8 Parts – Number VI: Johann Stamitz

July 2024

We look forward to your feedback on this project. Please let us know your thoughts by adding your comments below:

 

Westron Wynde

Orchestra

2015

Duration: 8’45”

Scored for four clarinets, organ, piano and strings, Westron Wynde is is a contemplation derived from the Sanctus from John Sheppard’s mass of the same name. The music unfolds across three panels and depicts a vast empty landscape. Two brief extracts from Sheppard’s Sanctus can be heard as the music progresses, the first stated by the clarinets, the second, at a distance, by a string quartet.

In Autumn

(2010, 2016, 2023)

for orchestra (strings, flutes & piccolos)

Duration: 11’11”

In autumn is a piece for string orchestra with flutes and piccolos. It is an evocation of a woodland scene in late autumn in the pre-Appenini mountains of central Italy, specifically an area named Forca d’Acero which is a high mountain pass (1500m) on the border between Lazio and Abbruzzo: an evocative woodland landscape.

Mesto

2023

for String Orchestra

Duration 8′

Originally written for string quartet, Mesto is a study in melancholy. Using a diatonic palette, the strings pivot around a central harmony with the upper and lower parts mirroring one another as they expand outwards from the centre.

Score and parts available for purchase or hire

Priest – Mesto (sample)

I might have die

(1997)

Duration: 8’30”

Soprano

Chamber Orchestra (flute, 2 clarinets, piano, strings)

 

Text: Bartolomeo Vanzetti

If it had not been for these thing, I might have live out my life, talking at street corners to scorning men. I might have die, unmarked, unknown, a failure. Now we are not a failure. This is our career and our triumph. Never in our full life can we hope to do such work for tolerance, for joostice, for man’s onderstanding of man, as now we do by an accident.

Our words – our lives – our pains – nothing! the taking of our lives-lives of a good shoemaker and a poor fish peddler- all! That last moment belong to us-that agony is our triumph!

Soprano: Joanna Brown
Dubai Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Barnaby Priest

Recorded @ The Fridge, Dubai, 17th February 2014

Overflow (version for strings)

Written originally as a chamber orchestra piece to accompany the artwork of the Italo-Canadian artist Janet Bellotto in 2013, this version for string orchestra was completed in 2020.

(2013 – revised 2020)

Duration: 5’15”

Instrumentation: string orchestra (minimum 3,3,2,2,1)

Score and parts available on request.

Altopiano

For two clarinets and small string orchestra, Altopiano is a quiet meditative piece.

Instrumentation – 2 clarinets in Bb, violins (6), violas (2), violoncellos (2) and double bass (1)

Duration – circa 5 minutes

Composition July – August 2020

Score and parts available on request

BarnabyPriest · Altopiano