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MARTIN BUSSEY

composer

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JUNE 2024

SONGS CHOIRS & HORN

June 2024 was a bumper month for performances!
(click on links below for details of scores and performance venues)

Chester Bach Singers performed Martin’s Roses in Wesley Centre, Chester on June 8. They brought across the many nuances in three beautiful Renaissance poems and sang with particular warmth in Martin's setting of 'Roses, their sharp spines being gone'.

Roses is a short cycle for unaccompanied SATB choir, written for and premiered by CBS in 2009.

It sets three poems linked to roses, the other two being:

‘Go, lovely rose’;

‘Lady, when I behold the roses sprouting’.


On June 14, h​ighly talented young horn player George Strivens (photo below), gave the premiere of Martin’s work for solo French Horn, The Rites observed, at Pinner Music Festival. The work is a metamorphosis of ideas from the longer work A Brother Abroad, commissioned by the festival in 2021. It focuses on some of the liveliest moments from the original piece and exploits George’s technical brilliance and power. He recently recorded it for release later this year by Resonus Classics.

Watch a preview performance here 

'The Phantom Horsewoman', the first song of Martin's cycle of Thomas Hardy settings Poems of 1912/13 appeared in 'The Sea and Ships' at the London Song Festival on June 21. It was grippingly performed by Gareth Brynmor John and Nigel Foster (in photo below, left). Critic Robert Hugill described the piece as 'a complex yet tonal work that was a wonderfully effective free arioso.'

On Wednesday June 26, the ‘Hidden Gems’ series at St Mary-le-Strand, London WC2R 1ES (photo below, right) included Martin Bussey’s In days like these. Part of a concert focused on Gerald Finzi and his circle, the song sets a letter from Finzi to Herbert Howells written in the early days of World War 2. The text reflects on composing during wartime. Martin’s setting has received much positive acclaim for its sensitivity. Performed on several occasions around the country already, on this occasion it was sung by baritone Alex Zasiadko, a student at the Guildhall School of Music with Gavin Roberts, piano.


You can catch this work next at the Endellion Festival on August 7 as part of 'Still alive and frying bacon'.


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A BROTHER ABROAD RECORDED

In February/March 2024 Resonus Classics recorded a new CD of Martin's music at Stoller Hall, Manchester. 

Over three days baritone Marcus Farnsworth recorded the very successful A Brother Abroad, commissioned in 2021 by Pinner Music Festival, together with several of the original players: Emma Halnan, Flute and George Strivens, French Horn reprised their original roles. They were joined by Stephen Burke, Percussion. The performance was directed by Martin Bussey with librettist Anthony Pinching in attendance (and taking many of the photos!). Emma recorded her linked solo piece La Rossa, and George his, The Rites Observed. Both pieces are metamorphoses of themes from the longer work. In later sessions, soprano Alison Rose and pianist Libby Burgess recorded Martin's song cycle A Chainless Soul, which sets poems of Emily Bronte. Marcus recorded Martin's Whitman cycle Children of Adam, again with Libby. All the performers can be seen in the photos in the panel below. The producer was Adam Binks.

Click on links for more details of artists. Scores at Composers Edition

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To use          Marcus Farnsworth, baritone with Libby Burgess, piano.jpg
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TIMELESS FIGURE

A collaboration with photographer Laurel Turton

'A 45-minute tour de force...imaginative writing for marimba, clarinet and viola...some striking textures...the vocal line being expressive and singer-friendly yet highly wrought.' - planethugill.com, 2020

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TIMELESS FIGURE REVIVED

November 2023 saw a highly successful revival of Timeless Figure at The Brownlow Centre, Whitchurch & International Anthony Burgess Centre, Manchester. 

Over the weekend more than 80 people, many new to contemporary music theatre, enjoyed watching baritone Peter Edge brilliantly reprise the role of clockmaker Joyce that he created at the 2020 Tete-a-Tete Festiva. He was expertly and idiomatically accompanied by Dan Mawson, clarinet, Ellie Waddington, viola and Sophie Smith, marimba. against a background of commissioned, synchronised images by Laurel Turton, projected by Stephen Hyde.

more details and score at Composers Edition

Photos below

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NEW PIANO PIECES!

More music from Shocklach, Martin's home for the past 8 years on the borders of Cheshire & Wales. Or rather, music inspired by trips and visits.

Three new piano pieces are available from September 1 from Composers Edition.

Click on the titles to see sample scores and product notes.

Then click in the panels below and head to see Martin introduce and play the works on YouTube.

Christopher and Mary Dove

Cottage at East Bergholt