WHAT THE DICKENS!
New work for two actors, choir, soprano, tenor and bass solos with oboe and piano
July 20 2022 sees the premiere of this new work commissioned by the St Marylebone Festival
The piece is based on characters in the seven novels written by Dickens when he lived round the corner from St Marylebone Church, in Devonshire Terrace in the 1840s. These have been commemorated in the mural which now stands on the site of Dickens' house, including the unforgettable Scrooge, the drunken Mrs Gamp, the perpetually optimistic Wilkins Micawber, Little Nell and many others.
The music includes original settings of poetry by Christina Rossetti and W.B.Yeats together with Dickens' words and re-imaginings of music by S.S.Wesley, plus drinking and temperance songs of Dickens' time. The cast includes actors Ros Shelley and Alex Knox alongside the choir of St Marylebone Parish Church, Gavin Roberts, piano and Clare Hoskins, oboe.
As a taster, listen to Clare Hoskins playing Martin's solo oboe piece Jack of Hearts here. This was composed for Clare and explores themes from Martin's Mary's Hand, in which she was one of the original performers in 2018.
New work for Soprano and guitar based on poems of Mary Webb
(click on links to explore Mary Webb & the performers)
This semi-staged piece lasting around 35 minutes tells a story of love, loss and memory, with the Shropshire countryside a significant element as the singer traces her past love and his loss in the 1914-18 war.
Below Martin stands beside the bust of Mary Webb outside Shrewsbury Library.
If you are interested in hosting a performance of Shropshire Lass click here
SHROPSHIRE LASS LAUNCHES!
Holly Teague and Michael Matthews perform the first five songs
(click on links in the page above to explore Mary Webb & the performers)
Saturday March 19 saw the first, very successful performance by Holly and Michael of the first five songs of Shropshire Lass as part of the Caldecott Festival in Whitchurch, Shropshire. The performance was introduced by Martin Bussey who stressed the natural elements which are a focus of Mary Webb's poems and also the frank allusions to sexual love in her work. The enthusiastic applause from an appreciative audience showed the high standard of the performance and bodes well for reception of the work in its full version later this summer.
Below Holly and Michael are in the Masonic Hall, Whitchurch.
A BROTHER ABROAD
Explore the vivid spiritual and political lives of 14th-century Bishop Peter of Corbavia!
The first performance of A Brother Abroad at Pinner Music Festival was deemed a resounding success by the festival organisers and an appreciative audience on June 12 2021.
The commission celebrated 700 years since the dedication of St John's, Pinner by Bishop Peter of Corbavia.
The Festival's Director says:
'The performance was a triumph, with the superb and finely crafted score being widely appreciated for the way it brought the person of Peter, his faith and his time to life.'
A Brother Abroad sets a vibrant and spiritually charged text by Anthony Pinching.
Click here to hear Martin and Anthony discuss the work.
The next performance at Ludlow English Song Weekend on April 9 2022 was equally well received in the magnificent surroundings of Ludlow Parish Church.
The score is available now from Composers Edition
Read more about the dynamic performers at the premiere by clicking on their names:
Marcus Farnsworth, baritone
Emma Halnan, flute
George Strivens french horn
Chris Brannick, percussion
Martin Bussey previews exciting performances and recording in prospect for 2022
Click here for a round-up of some future events, including the premiere of Shropshire Lass (more details on the next page)
FLOREAT COLL REG
Over the weekend of November 19/20 2021 pianist Matthew Schellhorn continued his performances of Martin's Floreat Coll Reg.
Matthew commissioned this work and premiered it at the 2021 Three Choirs Festival.
In these two short pieces, Radliffe's Repose and Ledger's Coranto Martin pays tribute to two important influences from undergraduate days at Cambridge, Philip Radcliffe and Philip Ledger.
The work was played at St Catharine's College on Friday evening then Corpus Christi College on Saturday alongside piano music by Herbert HHowells
Follow this link to access the St Catharine's performance (Floreat begins around 37 minutes in)
THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL PREMIERE!
July 30 2021 saw the premiere of Floreat Coll. Reg. commissioned and performed by Matthew Schellhorn at Worcester Three Choirs Festival
Read what Matthew and Martin have to say about this new commission here
Go to Composers Edition to view Martin's music for piano and organ including Floreat Coll Reg & links to other works.
Listen to Martin playing his piano music, including Shocklach Sketches here
The new 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
BEHIND THE COMPOSER
A life of music, words and gardens
Nourished by the borderlands of England and Wales
Creating music theatre, choral, vocal and instrumental music in a converted Methodist chapel
‘The outstanding Mary’s Hand’
'The writing is linear, finely wrought and daringly spare'
IN NO STRANGE LAND
BBC Music Magazine
'This disc of choral works by contemporary composer Martin Bussey is glorious...Shimmering sound'
THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY
'An enthralling piece which makes a philosophical exploration of dreams and reality'