Saturday 29 June, 6.15pm - 7.45pm

The Music of Australian Composer Wendy Hiscocks


performed by pianists and choir from Chetham's School of Music


Time and Location:

29 June, 6:15 - 7:45 PM
Forsyth Music Shop, 126 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2GR


Booking:

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This event is free, but prior booking is required. Click the button above to book, or call 0161 834 3281, email [email protected]


About The Event:

Welcome to the colourful world of the Australian composer Wendy Hiscocks. After two days of masterclasses working with the talented piano students of Chetham’s, her music for piano solo and piano duet repertoire (including a work for unison voices) will receive a public performance by the students in the splendid showroom at Forsyth Music Shop. Scores will be available for sale and for signing by the composer during this event from a range of publishers such as Edition Peters (now Faber), Schott Music, Revolution Arts, Wirripang and Creativity & Music.

Most of Hiscocks’ output for piano solo and duet is represented in this programme. Toccata is one her earliest works focusing on the use of a rhythmic B flat drone and intervallic tension in much the same way as Indian raga. The theme of the Australian landscape runs through her compositions as reflected in the early Rainforest Toccata and the other titles in the major collection of more challenging piano solos Scenes from an Australian Childhood. Kenneth Grahame’s book The Wind in the Willows provided the focus for The Piper at the Gates of Dawn which recreates a journey through the night to the breaking of dawn in one of its magical chapters. Pianist Roy Howat is the dedicatee of the work who premiered all four movements during the work’s evolution covering a fourteen year span.

A love of piano duets emerged early in Wendy’s musical education with one of her first public performances featuring Arthur Benjamin’s enduring Jamaican Rumba, another Australian composer. He subsequently became the subject of her doctorate, and her arrangement of his piano duo Two Jamaican Street Songs is being performed tonight as a duet. Other arrangements include Saint-Saëns’ celebrated Danse Macabre as part of her repertoire for concerts with Roy Howat, her piano duet partner for many years; this, together with her Fauré Pavane for solo piano, are now published by Editions Peter.

Piano duets played an important part in her teaching years with the earliest printed edition being Four Rustic Dances. A Dance for David (unpublished) was a commission from a friend for her newborn son using Latvian folk song, the homeland of the child’s grandmother. More recently, the twenty-seven duet miniatures in Explorer provide carefully thought-out challenges for adventurous students and teachers. Three more duet books are envisaged in the Explorer series which are published by Revolution Arts, with tonight’s Explorer goes East providing more advanced concert studies resonating to the exotic sounds of China, Indonesia, Cambodia and Mongolia. Explorer goes Tropical, the next book in the series, is due for release next year.

Tonight’s performers will appear in the following order. According to the wishes of Chetham’s child safeguarding policies, we have not included photos or the surnames of the student performers.


Recital Programme:

Explorer goes East (2023) - Piano Duet:

  • ‘Gamelan’ – Alex and Joseph (Year 8)

Fig & Fennel (2022) - Piano Solo:

  • Artem (Year 7)

Explorer (2018) - Duets for Adventurous Students and Teachers:

  • Amina and Salomeja (Junior class): Starry Steps; Black Dragon Dance; Cool Steps; Chords & Ladders; Clown Showtime; Line Dance; Double Black Waltz; Mirrors

Four Portuguese Songs (2004) - Unison Choir Accompanied by Piano Duet:

  • ‘O grilo na toca’ (The Cricket) – Angus and Finlay (Junior class)
  • ‘Na Primavera’ (Spring) – Tamara and Aiqi (Junior class)
  • ‘Tres Pintainhos’ (Three Little Chicks) – Angela and William (Junior class)
  • ‘La Pastorinha’ (The Shepherdess) – Imre (Year 7) and Jackson (Year 8)

Danse Macabre, Saint-Saëns arr. Wendy Hiscocks (1996) - Piano Duet:

  • Selwyn and Erin (Junior class)

Explorer (2018) - Duets for Adventurous Students and Teachers:

  • Harvey and Joanna (Junior class): Starry Steps; Black Dragon Dance; Cool Steps; Chords & Ladders; Clown Showtime; Line Dance; Double Black Waltz; Mirrors

A Dance for David (1998) - Piano Duet:

  • Selwyn and Erin (Junior class)

Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1990-2003) - Piano Solo:

  • ‘Prelude’ – Joseph (Year 8)

Two Jamaican Street Songs, Arthur Benjamin arr. Wendy Hiscocks (2002-3) - Piano Duet:

  • Cookie; Mattie Rag – Jason and Nina (Year 11)

Four Rustic Dances (1990) - Piano Duet:

  • ‘East Ukrainian Dance Tune’ – Daniela and Olivia (Junior class)
  • ‘Kolo’ – Lia and Sophia (Junior class)
  • ‘Tarantella’ – Zachary and Jimmy (Junior class)
  • ‘Kruhové Tance’ – Emma and Chloe (Junior class)

A Dance for David (1998) - Piano Duet:

  • Sebastian and Yi-En (Year 7)

Fig & Fennel (2022) - Piano Solo:

  • David (Junior class)

Explorer (2018) - Duets for Adventurous Students and Teachers:

  • Yingmei and Ling (Junior class): Starry Steps; Black Dragon Dance; Cool Steps; Chords & Ladders; Clown Showtime; Line Dance; Double Black Waltz; Mirrors

Explorer goes East (2023) - Piano Duet:

  • ‘Kangding Love Song’ – Stanley and Joshua (Year 7)
  • ‘Gamelan’ – William and Nathan (Year 7)
  • ‘Kampuchea Song’ – Sophia and Sammie (Year 7)
  • ‘Mongolian Horsemen’ – Amber and Julian (Year 8)

Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1990-2003) - Piano Solo:

  • ‘Prelude’ – Alex (Year 8)
  • ‘Nocturne’ – Amber (Year 8)
  • ‘Caprice’ – Julian (Year 8)
  • ‘Finale’ – Jackson (Year 8)

Danse Macabre, Saint-Saëns arr. Wendy Hiscocks (1996) - Piano Duet:

  • Cassandro and Yaqi (Year 11)

Pavane, Fauré arr. Wendy Hiscocks and Roy Howat (1994) - Piano Solo:

  • Alexander (Year 11)

Toccata (1983) - Piano Solo:

  • Bardo (Year 11)

Scenes from an Australian Childhood (1987-2013) - Piano Solo:

  • ‘Tarantella’ – Patrick (Year 11)
  • ‘Trees and Lightning’ – Alexander (Year 11)
  • ‘Garden Orb Web’ – Isaac (Year 11)
  • ‘Rainforest Toccata’ – Alexander (Year 11)
  • ‘Wombeyan Caves’ – Julie (Year 11)
  • ‘Lanterns on Lake Illawarra’ – Luke (Year 11)
  • ‘Fire Haze at Gerringong’ – Thomas (Year 11)

Where are we?