Tag Archives: tim torry

The Pale Enchanted Gold, 17 June 2017: recital programme announced

CNM_recital_poster_CM_170617-webThis June’s CNM summer afternoon recital by Tim Torry (baritone), Charles Hine (clarinet) and Alan Bullard (piano) will take place at 3pm on 17 June at Castle Methodist Church, Maidenburgh St, Colchester CO1 1TT; entry free, retiring collection.

The programme is based around three key works: Tim Torry’s setting of JRR Tolkein’s ‘The Pale Enchanted Gold’ poem from The Hobbit, Alan Bullard’s setting of Edward Blunden’s ‘A Swan, a Man’, and also Alan’s ‘Three Blues’ for clarinet and piano.

Alongside these, CNM members have contributed new pieces for clarinet and piano, plus song settings of poetry with all kinds of interesting connections to the pieces above. The full lists of members’ works in each category are as follows:

Song settings

A Swan, A Man –  Alan Bullard/Edmund Blunden
The star –  Dylan Christopher/Jane & Ann Taylor
The sun goes down –  Francis Knights/AJ Blustin
The Genealogy of Christ –  Mark Bellis/Gospel of Luke
Oft when warring –  Stephen Watkins/Thomas Hardy
The Pale Enchanted Gold –  Tim Torry/JRR Tolkien
The sleep –  Ian Wilson/E B Browning

Clarinet/bass clarinet and piano

The Bold Princess Royal  – Colin Blundell
Three Blues – Alan Bullard
Whither Now? –  Laurence Glazier
Seeking stillness for solo bass clarinet – Philip Joy
A movement from the Scenes from a train suite – Jenni Pinnock
Dance –  Peter Thorne
Subsequent Darkness –  Julia Usher

CNM season 2017: recital in Colchester and workshop in Cambridge

We can now announce two exciting CNM public events which will be taking place in 2017:

Recital: The Pale Enchanted Gold

3pm, Saturday 17 June 2017, Castle Methodist Church, Maidenburgh Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TT; tickets TBC

A summer afternoon recital by Tim Torry (baritone), Alan Bullard (piano) and Charles Hine (clarinet). The programme will include Tim Torry’s ‘The Pale Enchanted Gold’ – a setting of the first poem from JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit, Alan Bullard’s dramatic setting of First World War poet Edmund Blunden’s ‘A Swan, A Man’ and ‘Three Blues’ for clarinet and piano, plus new songs and instrumental music by other members of CNM.

Workshop for contemporary harpsichord composition

4pm, Sunday 15 October 2017, Fitzwilliam College, Storey’s Way, Cambridge CB3 0DG; free entry for audience

Harpsichordists Francis Knights and Dan Tidhar will workshop new works for two harpsichords written by CNM members. The workshop will be preceded at 2pm by a rare concert of Contemporary American music for two harpsichords by Robert Baksa, Vittorio Rieti, Mark Janello and others.

Piano Project 2015 recordings released: solo works

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Dylan Christopher’s studio recordings of all solo pieces from the 2015 Piano Project are now available via this link, including works by Abraham Espinosa, Elspeth MandersIan Mitchell, Emily DolittleChris LambHenry Law, Tim Torry, Jenni Pinnock, Doug Thomas, Peter Thorne, Gary Randall, Yvonne Eccles, Gareth Price and Lucy Wickers. We hope to add recordings of the duets later in the year.

CNM Church Music Portfolio 2016 released

CMP2016_largeSince CNM now has several members who write church music, we have compiled a set of sample copies to showcase members’ work. The portfolio includes:

Mark Bellis – Anthem: My lips shall speak of thy praise (SATB+organ)

Alexander Blustin – Carol-anthem: Journey carol (SATB+organ)

Alan Bullard – Eastertide anthem: He is Risen (SATB+organ/piano)

Jenni Pinnock – Organ voluntary: Circular musings (organ solo)

Peter ThorneMagnificat and Nunc Dimittis (SATB+organ)

Tim Torry – Anthem: O Lord who hast taught us (SATB subdivided)

It is being distributed to Directors of Music in East Anglia. Enquiries: calls@colchesternewmusic.com

The Face of Grief – four performances and a Radio 3 broadcast, all within a month!

Susie Allan, Tim Torry and Roderick Williams after the Three Choirs performance, outside the Holy Trinity Church, Hereford.

Susie Allan, Tim Torry and Roderick Williams after the Three Choirs performance, outside the Holy Trinity Church, Hereford.

Alex has asked me to give my own account of, what was for me, the exciting month of July 2015, during which I had a whale of a time following performances of my music round the country!

It all stemmed from my going to a recital at the beautiful venue of Holkham Hall in the summer of 2012, a recital to which my brother, Nick, alerted me, as he subscribed to the music society which was putting the recital on. This wonderful recital was given by Roderick Williams (baritone) – whom Nick knew that I greatly admired – and Susie Allan (piano) – and I went prepared! I was able, after the recital, to have a delightful conversation with Roddy (as he is known) and give him a pile of my songs, which he assured me he would look at, whilst saying that it may take a while, as he was – understandably – often sent scores. I had included, at the last moment, a copy of The Face of Grief (Three War poems of Charlotte Mew), in its original soprano and piano version (which the splendid soprano Lindsay Gowers had already performed twice at C.N.M. events), to see whether it might interest him.

Having heard nothing for a couple of years, I decided to try and contact him via his agents, who were kind enough to send on my e-mail to him straight away. As it turned out, he was perfectly happy to have been ‘nudged’, as his list of things to do is, of course, a long one! By then – with the imminence of the inevitable 1st World War commemorations – I had devised a version of The Face of Grief for baritone and piano (as well as one with orchestra) and the resulting e-mail conversation I had with Roddy resulted in my sending him copies of both versions, as he agreed that now was the time to try and get it performed, although he explained that it may take a year or two to organise, as the relevant impresarios often needed some convincing about the inclusion of new pieces.

So it was very much to my surprise and delight when he e-mailed me a few weeks later, telling me that he intended to include the piece in his Summer Recital Series and that there might be a possibility of a broadcast! Dreamland, then! The upshot of all this was that he and Susie Allan gave four (yes, four!) recital performances at festivals during July, at Buxton, Llandeilo, Budleigh Salterton and – as the icing on the cake – on the opening day of the 300th Anniversary Three Choirs Festival at Holy Trinity Church in Hereford (not in the Cathedral and not as a large-scale choral work especially requested, as a recent newspaper article and dominating photo implied! Wouldn’t that be nice?!). My railway journeys round all four of these venues were utterly delightful (not least, despite the rain, that on the ‘Heart of Wales’ line, featured on TV earlier this year by Michael Portillo). All four performances were sold out and the audience response in each case was warmly enthusiastic, with a good number of individual audience-members making a point of coming up to me afterwards and expressing their personal thanks for the piece, often with educated comments on it.

Needless to say, all four recitals – with varied content, but each containing the well-thought-out theme of ‘those left behind’ during the 1st World War – were absolutely superb in every respect, given as they were by two world class performers and included the surprising, but entirely convincing, spectacle of a baritone’s singing a hitherto almost-exclusively contralto/mezzo piece, Elgar’s gorgeous Sea Pictures! I shall get the score!

As well as equally lovely repertoire by Vaughan Williams (Four last Songs), Howells (especially his cheeky Girl’s Song!) and Butterworth (the lesser-known but at least as good Bredon Hill songs), other living composers represented were the self-effacing Nicholas Marshall – who makes a splendid job of organising the Budleigh Festival and of whose delicious Slumber Song I now proudly have a copy – and Brian Inglis, whose exuberant setting of Sassoon’s Everyone Sang has a both a far from easy vocal line and very tricky piano part, expertly negotiated -as always – by the wonderful Susie Allan, as was the case with both the Elgar and the long and varied piano part (at one strategic point including Stockhausenesque hand-clusters!) of the Three Choirs commissionee, Rhian Samuel’s impressive cycle A Swift Radiant Morning – a very demanding sing indeed, too! Oh, and Philip Venables’ 60th birthday encore at Hereford (not broadcast, unfortunately) – a short and wittily delivered song of his simply called Hippo – rightly brought the house down!

Some of you may well have experienced Roddy’s extraordinary vocal and communicative skills (his diction is also an object lesson in clarity and subtlety), for example in last year’s televised Proms. He was the charismatic soloist on ‘The Last Night’, as well as earlier giving a mesmeric performance of Butterworth’s beautiful A Shropshire Lad cycle, in a version with orchestra. Recently he also took part in ‘Proms Extra’, as he also did last year – and he really is as nice and as unaffected a chap as he appears, by the way!

Indeed, I had the great pleasure of being booked in to the same hotel in Llandeilo as Roddy and Susie – as well as Roddy’s delightful wife and fifteen-year-old son – and so was able to spend a fair bit of social time with them all, as well as sitting in on most of the rehearsal sessions at each festival, a most valuable experience in itself for a rather less elevated baritone soloist such as me. I had, in fact included the first of my Face of Grief songs in my recital of English Music with the excellent Peter Dollimore at Long Melford Church in June, so I was able to let the audience of 85 or so members know of the complete performances coming up, as well as the broadcast (by then confirmed)! While at Llandeilo’s excellent Cawdor Hotel (for which, kindly, the Festival footed my bill), I was also privileged to meet the splendid young pianist Tom Poster, as well as his recital partner, the great Steven Isserlis, who – in the quarter-of-an-hour or so during which I was in his company – revealed himself to be just as much of a ‘character’ as he had appeared to be at a distance! I’ll resist the temptation of revealing his entertaining tale of an early ‘Music Club’ experience which he dramatically, but gleefully divulged with a look of utter shock on his face.

Other than saying that I hope that some of my insights gained from this whole adventure may be of some help to other C.N.M. members, all that remains is for me to acknowledge the great debt which I owe both Roddy and Susie for their ideally impeccable, subtle and atmospheric performances of my songs, as witness the BBC recording that was kindly provided for me, although – as with the broadcast itself – it was seen fit to edit out about ten or more seconds of ‘pin-drop’ atmospheric silence at the end, making it sound as though the audience just couldn’t wait to burst into applause! Actually, I may be biased, but I have to say that they couldn’t, but only after the pin-drop’ silence!

As a postscript to all this, I received a message via Linkedin the day after the broadcast from a promising young Australian baritone called Michael Lampard – who had caught the broadcast on line – saying, ‘It was wonderful. How does one go about getting the music…’, as a result of which I sent him a copy via a Sibelius attachment, as well as copy of my setting of Housman’s Loveliest of Trees, to which he replied, ‘What a nice setting…’. It turned out that he had been in contact with Roddy for a few years, after he had met him in Melbourne and was particularly interested in English Song. So maybe there will be an Australian première in due course, who knows.

I was also very happy to be interviewed by Mr Tom King for the Colchester Gazette’s and County Standard’s recent ‘spreads’, but I hope that my own account will have helped to iron out a few anomalies resulting from the editing process, although the reason for my holding my car keys with such apparent great significance in the photo that was published will have been lost on most readers. In fact it was to do with my use of them as a dowsing device, about which explanatory information was omitted from the final script, puzzling Tom King somewhat, who also took alternative pictures – which could just as easily have been used – of me peering at my score! However, human error is forgivable, ‘All publicity is good publicity’ (so they say) and there was at least nothing too damning included in the article, as far as I could see!

© Tim Torry, 29/8/2015.

We hope to add a link to a recording of one of these performances in due course.