New  

Tuesday 12 December , 2017

I am now a client of the London music production company Music Shop Inc. Ltd. : www.themusicshop.uk.com

Recordings can be heard online by entering the title of an individual piece in the SEARCH box :-

Alpine Sleigh-Ride [2:16]

Anniversary Intermezzo [3:26]

Arden Airs [8:27]

Bavarian Village Wedding Dance [4:58]

Celebration Gigue [4:06]

Chanson d'Ete [5:22]

Divertissement for chamber orchestra [5:44]

Drifting Under Sail [5:04]

Edwardian Seaside Vignettes [13:45]

Edwardian Waltzes [5:20]

Elegy for a Gardener [4:08]

Four Acres Rondo [3:16]

Joie de Vivre Waltz [4:17]

Love Child Overture [6:39]

Lullaby, Homeless Baby [4:49]

Midsummer Moods [8:37]

Nocturne [4:59]

Oboe Concerto [total playing time :19:42]:-

Moderato Assai [8:25]

Siciliano & Trio [7:13]

Rondo [4:04]

Reindeer Rondo [4.03]

Slavonic Variations [7:02]

Summer Promenade [7:12]

Tales from Hebden Woods [10:21]

They will be Remembered [4:09]

White Rose Serenade [5:35]

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The New White Rose Orchestra has recently been re-named The Chris Irvin Concert Orchestra : www.chrisirvinconcertorchestra.org.uk

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The second CD of some of my orchestral and choral pieces (thirteen tracks) has been released: JOIE DE VIVRE performed by the RTE Concert Orchestra, conductors Gavin Sutherland and John Longstaff. Campion Cameo (Cameo Cat. No. 2087) British Composer Series. Playing time 78:14 minutes. Available directly from me @ £12.00 + £1.50 P&P (£13.50) or Amazon

Love Child: Overture (2014) [6:39]
Anniversary Intermezzo (2013) [3:26]
Oboe Concerto (2011) [19:42]
They will be remembered * (2014) [4:09]
Edwardian Waltzes * (2014) [5:20]
Slavonic Variations (2013) [7:02]
Tales from Hebden Wood (2009) [10:21]
Divertissement for chamber orchestra (2013) [5:44]
Lullaby, Homeless Baby * (2010) [4:49]
White Rose Serenade * (2013) [5:35]
Joie de Vivre Waltz (2012) [4:17]
Richard Weigall (oboe)
RTÉ Concert Orchestra/Gavin Sutherland*; John Longstaff
recorded at RTÉ Radio Centre, Dublin, Eire, 21 October and 17-18 December 2014
CAMPION CAMEO 2087 [78:14]

The Light Music Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 72 :

Concert Reviews: Promenade Concert Orchestra, Morecambe. Conductor : Howard Rogerson, Leader : Julian Cann.

March, 2016 : re: Joie de VIvre Waltz: 'a very pleasing recent waltz - welcome living proof that the light music format still has active compositional practitioners!' (David Alder)

Review from the Musicweb International website (29 October, 2015):-

The first track is the jaunty little overture Love Child that cleverly mixes and matches a Great War recruitment march, a passage straight out of a Savoy opera, music that reminds me of William Alwyn’s score to the Alec Guinness film The Card, a waltz and a Suffragette’s song. The piece was drawn from music ‘developed’ for the eponymous musical which had been performed by students at Huddersfield Technical College (Kirklees College).

The lilting ‘Anniversary Intermezzo’ is extracted from the composer’s musical, Breeding, which is based on ‘William Cobbett’s polemical play Surplus Population [and the Poor Law Bill] (1731). In some ways the music does seem a little anodyne when set against the theme of the play – equal rights of the labouring poor in rural England and a blast against Malthus’ population control programme.

Irvin does seem to recycle his music. A good example is the pleasing and well-written Oboe Concerto which was ‘developed’ (that word again) from a number of oboe and piano pieces written around the turn of the millennium. The three movement work explores some ‘styles ancien’ especially prominent in the Siciliano and Trio. There are plenty of enjoyable moments in this work and the oboe is skilfully played by Richard Weigall. It makes a good addition to the repertoire of that instrument.

When I read the title of the CD, I noticed that it was ‘Orchestral & Choral Works Volume 2, yet there was no choir, chorus or vocal ensemble noted in the list of performers. The song ‘They Will be Remembered’ suddenly appeared on the CD player complete with vocals. Who are they? Is it the RTÉ Choir? This piece is taken from the above mentioned musical Love Child. The words and the music are just that little bit sentimental for their own good.

Edwardian Waltzes were ‘developed’ from the Act 1 finale of the seemingly bottomless pit of musical invention that is Love Child. New material has been added to complete this enjoyable confection.

The Slavonic Variations are ‘a completely new symphonic movement’ based on a C minor theme. It is a well written work that is not so much ‘light’ in character as timeless – it could have been composed at virtually any time over the past 140 years.

When I first saw this CD, the piece that caught my eye was Tales from Hebden Woods. I wondered if the inspiration was that rather 'cool’ and ‘bohemian’ market town in the West Riding, Hebden Bridge ... and it was. The music is a medley taken from a number of Christmas plays performed locally at the Bridge Theatre. Clearly nodding to Strauss’ Vienna Woods in its title, the mood is more end-of-pier than anything else. There is a lot of fun in these pages and occasionally something a little more serious. Attitudes and events considered are ‘positive thinking’, a magical Widdershins (walking round anti-clockwise), and a Goblin theme. The work ends with a lot of panache and a bit of a swing.

The Divertissement for chamber orchestra was composed for a local West Riding ‘voluntary music ensemble’. The composer has cleverly and rather wittily created a ten minute piece that makes use of the available instrumental forces. In some ways it is a mini ‘concerto for orchestra’, allowing each soloist to display their ‘expertise’. The style is catchy and the music is clearly fun to play. One of the best pieces on this disc.

The ‘Lullaby, Homeless Baby’ was worked up from a pantomime song: it has been transformed into a Christmas carol. It is a pretty little number, which allows for full audience participation, if appropriate. The main modal melody is quite memorable. Once again this is sung by the ‘nameless choir’.

The White Rose Serenade was originally a piano piece that has been ‘developed’ into an epitome of a piece of light music. Tuneful and well scored this work clearly owes it musical style to the bandstands of Yorkshire as well as the palm-court music of Harrogate.

The final work is the Joie de Vivre Waltz. The liner-notes point out that this piece was written to combat the bias of New Year’s Day music broadcasts towards Austrian waltzes. This is a definite Yorkshire (or Lancashire) example that promulgates the privilege of living in splendid towns like Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Morecambe and Halifax, all places where Christopher Irvin has had his music performed … and where I have spent happy and interesting days. On a more serious note, this last waltz was written at a time of family illness and loss, so it is not surprising that a touch of melancholy occasionally appears. The ending is thoughtful rather than champagne corks a-popping. It is my favourite piece on this CD.

The liner-notes were written by the composer and provide all the information required (except what choir is singing). The unattributed cover picture of a bandstand defines the mood of many of the works on this CD. The RTÉ and Messrs. Sutherland and Longstaff, give good convincing performances of all these works.

This is an enjoyable disc of light music that hat tips toward the Edwardian era of Elgar, German, Finck and Monckton.

John France

Review by Neil Patrick form the Light Music Society Magazine Issue 70 WInter 2015 (17 December, 2015):-

This is the second volume of Irvin's music, made up of a mix of short and somewhat longer (five to ten minutes) pieces from his composing career of the past few years which makes for an ideal Christmas present for the light music enthusiast; exactly the same sentiment I expressed when reviewing his first volume of pieces last December.

This is a really well recorded and welcome issue enhanced by the quality of the composer's notes and the firm hands of the two conductors, including of course, our Chairman. Certainly a CD for the Christmas stocking.

STILL AVAILABLE : the debut CD of some of my orchestral works (thirteen tracks) released last autumn: MIDSUMMER MOODS performed by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conductor Gavin Sutherland. Campion Cameo (Cameo Cat. No. 2086) British Composer Series. Playing time over 77 minutes. Available on Amazon or directly from me (£13.00 + £1.50 P&P) (£14.50)

My PayPal account : chris.browne@tiscali.co.uk

CLASSIC FM Home Page MIDSUMMER MOODS:

"Light Music trifles to brighten the winter". Classic FM 'Drive' Featured Album, 12-16 January, 2015. Tracks played: Bavarian Village Wedding Dance; Chanson D'Ete (violoncello soloist, James Potter); Celebration Gigue; Four Acres Rondo (clarinet soloist, Ian Scott); Drifting Under Sail:-

"In terms of recordings, Christopher Irvin - born in 1953 - is one of the more under-represented composers of light music. That's now remedied with this album from the ever-reliable Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conducted by a champion of the genre, Gavin Sutherland.

Irvin's music is, by definition and intention, light, undemanding and very old-fashioned. While his melodies may not have the immediacy or the longevity of such masters of Light Music as Binge or Ketelbey, there are some stand-out moments to be enjoyed here. Listen out in particular for a superb violin solo by the Sinfonia's leader Robert Gibbs on Arden Airs, and an excellent clarinet part on Four Acres Rondo".


A review by Neil Patrick has also appeared in the Light Music Society Magazine:

It would have been interesting if the 13 tracks on this extremely enjoyable 74 minute CD had been presented in chronological order of composition (roughly as above) illuminating how Irvin finds his own exhuberent voice in 2011 with his Summer Promenade (my favourite track along with Elegy for a Gardener). His early works (written as incidental or programme music and of course heard here out of context) as less risky and more self-effacing than those written more recently, but every number has its own appeal in this bouncy and cheerful compilation. Light music is reassuringly alive and well in West Yorkshire!

Some of the incidental pieces here last for five minutes or more and can struggle to sustain the listener's interest for that length of time, but most can claim originality and ambition. Irvin also tends towards an over-reliance on timpani, especially during cadential episodes but, let's face it, so did Beethoven.

The recording is all you would want it to be although solo instruments sometime struggle to be heard (such as the violin of leader Robert Gibbs at the closing of Arden Airs) but the virtuoso orchestra is kept on their toes by our Chairman. The disc comes with a very helpful insert containing a description by the composer of each piece and I can think of no better Christmas present for the light music enthusiast.

NEW CONCERTO for 2014:

OBOE CONCERTO : I. Moderato Assai; II. Siciliano & Trio; III. Rondo. Duration: 19 minutes. Full Score & Parts (see Catalogue No.3096)

EDWARDIAN SEASIDE VIGNETTES (formerly SEA BREEZE) is now available in its original full orchestral version (this is included in the new disc)


Previous  

NEW PIECES PERFORMED IN 2013 :

First Performance in 2013 of DRIFTING UNDER SAIL. Valse Grazioso & Scherzo for Full Orchestra took place on Saturday 22 June, The Boots Orchestra, Church of Good Shepherd, Woodthorpe, Nottingham 7.30pm (Cat. No.3030)

premiere of REINDEER RONDO for Full Orchestra with audience Sleigh Bells participation (Cat. No.3047) Todmorden Symphony Orchestra, Town Hall 15 December, 2013 and in January, 2014 by The Promenade Concert Orchestra, Morecambe

NEW PIECES

THE WHITE ROSE SERENADE for Full Orchestra (Cat. No.3070)

VOCAL MUSIC:

BLOW, BLOW, THOU WINTER WIND. Words from Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT Act II Sc. vii. Unaccompanied SATB (Cat. No. 3058)

BLOW, BLOW, THOU WINTER WIND. Words from Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT Act II Sc. vii. Unaccompanied TTBB (Cat. No. 3059)

ELEGY FOR A GARDENER. A four-part SATB arrangement by the composer (with Piano Accompaniment) of the fifth and final setting from the song-cycle ELIZABETH'S GARDENS (Cat. No. 3062)

PHILOMEL, WITH MELODY. Words from Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Act II Sc. ii. SOPRANO SONG with Piano Accompaniment (Cat. No.3060)

PIANO DUET : THE WILLOW WALTZ. Premiere performance given at Cross St. Chapel, Manchester as part of a Manchester Gilbert & Sullivan Society concert, Sunday 3rd March 2.30pm. Pianists : Jonathan Ellis & Bridget Budge (Cat. No. 3045)

NOCTURNE for WOODWIND, HORN & STRINGS : Fl. 1 & 2 ; Ob. 1 & 2; Cl. in A 1 & 2; Bsn.; Hn. in F; Strings. Duration: 5.:30. A gently flowing 4/4 piece in two sections. Composed for the Leeds Sinfonia, Leeds College of Music and premiered at an open rehearsal Tuesday, 5th March (Cat. No. 3028)

ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS PLAYED AT CONCERTS IN 2012/13:

BRAND NEW PIECES :

THE WILLOW WALTZ for Full Orchestra (Cat. No.2712) - a light-hearted waltz with contrasting 2/4 middle DUMKA section. Duration : approx. 6 minutes . Performance given by the Square Chapel Orchestra, Halifax at their New Year Concert on Sunday 8th January, 2012 @ 3.00pm; and by The Promenade Concert Orchestra, Morecambe at The Platform, on Sunday 18th March, 2012 @ 3.00 pm (Cat. No. 2712)

WIND QUINTET (Cat. No.2992): second movement Valse Grazioso premiered by players from The Boots Orchestra, Nottingham as part of a concert given by The Boots Orchestra at Ruddington Church, Saturday 23rd June, 2012 (Cat. No. 2992 )

SUMMER SERENADE (Cat. No.2742) received its premiere by TODMORDEN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at the Town Hall on Saturday 23rd June at 7.30pm, 2012 as part of a concert celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (Cat. No. 2742)

THREE DIVERSIONS FOR VIOLIN & ORCHESTRA (Cat. No.2741): First Movement premiered by The Southwell Orchestral Society, Nottinghamshire on Saturday 7th July, 2012 at The Greenaway, Rolleston, Notts. Soloist : Oliver Hipkiss (Cat. No. 2741)

MIDSUMMER MOODS (Cat. No.2683) A Shakespearean Suite (first performed by the Boots Orchestra in June, 2011) performed by the Leeds Summer Orchestra Tuesday 11th September, 2012 (Cat. No. 2683 )

NEW WORKS : (Cat. No.3027) SOUTHWELL SLALOM (Sleigh Ride) premiered by the Southwell Orchestral Society Saturday, 8 December 2012 SOUTHWELL MINSTER Carols for Everyone with Audience participation (Cat. No. 3027)

CELEBRATION GIGUE (Cat. No.3032) for Woodwind, Horn & Strings. Full Score (A4 spiral-bound) pp46; Flute 1; Flute 2; Oboe 1; Oboe 2; Clarinet 1 in A; Clarinet 2 in A; Bassoon; Horn in F; Violin I x 4; Violin II x 3; Viola x 3; Violoncello x 3; Double Bass x 1 © 2012 (Cat. No. 3032)

LULLABY, HOMELESS BABY - a choral carol for SATB Choir (and Full Orchestra) (premiere given at Southwell Minster on Saturday 18th December, 2010 as part of Carols for Everyone. The Southwell Choral and Orchestral Societies joined forces for this new piece). Performance given by Bridget Budge & Halifax Chamber Choir, Saturday 15th December, 2012 7.30pm MUSIC FOR ADVENT & CHRISTMAS Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax (Cat. No. 2706 (b))

SATURDAY 5 January, 2013 7.30pm : premiere of a new version of LULLABY, HOMELESS BABY for Soprano, Clarinet in B-flat & Piano. Leeds Music Club, Adel

LULLABY, HOMELESS BABY (Lyrics by Freda Kelsall) (Catalogue Nos. 2706/1240)

Lullaby, homeless baby,
You need a kind world to care for you,
Lullaby, homeless baby,
All children will say a prayer for you.

Lullaby, homeless baby,
Whoever you are, be safe and well,
Lullaby, homeless baby,
What you will become, who can foretell?

In the morning, bells will chime (Ding-a-Dong)
And awaken love in time to sing a song,
In the morning, bells will chime
And awaken love in time to sing a song,
Of hope for a homeless baby,
Of hope that the human heart and mind,
Can cherish a homeless baby,
And bring out the best in all mankind,

So lullaby, Christmas baby,
New life is a joy to all the earth,
Lullaby, Christmas baby,
We nations will sing for all we're worth,

To welcome you with love, (Ding-a-Dong)
While Christmas bells above ring along,
Into our homes come hush-a-bye, (hush-a-bye)
Into our hearts come hush-a-bye, (hush-a-bye)
With your gift of peace,
With your gift of peace.

In the morning, bells will chime
And awaken love in time to sing a song,
Bring hope for a homeless baby,
Of hope that the human heart and mind,
Can cherish a homeless baby,
And bring out the best in all mankind,

We welcome you with love, (Ding-a-Dong)
While Christmas bells above ring along,
Into our homes come hush-a-bye, (hush-a-bye)
Into our hearts come hush-a-bye, (hush-a-bye)
With your gift of peace,

With your gift of peace.


SOUTHWELL SLEIGH-RIDE (with Audience participation!) was included in the annual CHRISTMAS CONCERT at Todmorden Town Hall given by the combined forces of the town's Orchestra and Choral Society. Due to the indisposition of the resident conductor, I was asked to conduct this event.

The piece was featured in the New Year's Concert given by the Orchestra of Square Chapel, Halifax conductor Robert Guy, Sunday 6th January, 3.00pm 2013


Sunday 30th January, 2011 at 3 pm at The Platform, Morecambe : Promenade Concert Orchestra - presented a sell-out New Year Viennese Concert which included SOUTHWELL SLEIGH-RIDE (composed for the Carols for Everyone service at Southwell Minster, Christmas 2009) (see Catalogue ID 2638). Revew by David Alder : "Whereas the first part of the concert definitely looked forward to the arrival of spring the second half included reminders of winter.One of these was the ‘Southwell Sleigh Ride’, a recent composition by Christopher Irvin, which was being heard for the first time in Morecambe. The piece proved very popular – with the composer personally contributing to the percussion section’s effects by playing the sleigh bells".

 

MIDSUMMER MOODS (adapted from FOREST AIRS FROM SHAKESPEARE) was given a first performance by the Boots Orchestra (Nottingham) at Chilwell Road Methodist Church, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1EH on Saturday 18th June, 2011 at 7.30 pm

Rochdale Light Orchestra (RLO) was founded in 2008 by a group of enthusiasts led by local composer/conductor Graham Marshall.
It exists to give local amateur musicians the opportunity to meet together and rehearse and perform music of a light-hearted nature of all kinds. For a concert in Castleton in May 2010 Graham arranged my DECK DANCE for a concert held at St. Martin's Church. Review "Composer Christopher Irvin from Hebden Bridge, was present to hear the orchestra play his lively “Deck Dance” (Rochdale Online).

In Spring of 2010, a song-cycle ELIZABETH'S GARDENS, was composed for and premiered by Bridget Budge (contralto), Musical Director of the Pennine Spring Music Festival. Published by Da Capo Music Ltd. pp29 (2010) @ £6.00

Pennine Spring Music Festival

Listen to a short clip from the ELIZABETH'S GARDENS Song Cycle (Song No.2) here:- musicmpgs/elizabethgardensclip.mp3

Picture a senior gardener,
Less frequently on his knees,
Surrounded by amateur gardeners
Who beg for his expertise.
Words drift by in abundant splendour,
(“Those are hardy, but these are tender,”)
Names with an aim to please.
(“Azalea, wygelia,
Lobelia, camellia”),
In the gardens at Harlow Carr,
He knows them for what they are.