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Programme Notes: Piano




Catriona’s Waltz  Opus 6

My first composition in Luxembourg, a short and wistful waltz.

Leudelange, Luxembourg, August 1983

Carnon Suite  Opus 8

Written on holiday, there are five evocative movements: 

1: Close Dusk on the Lake 

2: The House on the Lake 

3: Hotel Le Dauphin 

4: In the Sun 

5: Old Castle

Carnon, South of France, 1984

Three Little Pieces  Opus 9  


 - entitled Whurrl (a spicy Scottish dessert!), Lament and Jig                       

Strassen, Luxembourg, June 1985

Piano Sonata No 1 Opus 10  


An early work, and I’m trying to flap my wings in various directions ..... I played this at the first ever concert of my music, in Luxembourg in 1989

1: In Blue 

2: Autumn Boulevard 

3: Survivors’ Party Blues 

4. Luxembourg Late-Night

Strassen, Luxembourg, 1984-5  


Kate Emily Go to Sleep

A lullaby for my new-born daughter Kate, part of an ever-growing series: Music for Babies (nearly every piece since 1986 is classified under ‘Opus 11’)  in which every new-born (family, friends) gets his or her own lullaby, based on the rhythm of the name - often within an hour or two of the birth.

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1986


Peaceful music for my new-born daughter Amelia, part of an ever-growing series: Music for Babies (nearly every piece since 1986 is classified under ‘Opus 11’)  in which every new-born (family, friends) gets his or her own lullaby, based on the rhythm of the name - often within an hour or two of the birth.

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1989 


An Unterwald Suite  Opus 13

These short, experimental pieces, written in a sitting during a thunderstorm in Tirol, were an important stage in my realisation that I had to compose. 

Haus Unterwald, Tirol, Austria 1988

Images  Opus 14

Four fleeting piano pieces:

1. Russian Echo
2. Fugitive 1
3. Vision
4. Fugitive 2

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1988

Twenty-Four Preludes for Piano Book 1  Opus 19 


Twenty-four Preludes, one for each key. Book 1 of my ’48'              

Recorded in Brussels by Leonardo Anglani, with Twelve Variations on 'Ffarwél i Aberystwyth'  AVK 002. Published by Alain Van Kerckhoven, Editeur, Brussels 

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1988

Piano Sonata No 2  Opus 20

Sadly, an outburst of sheer anger, written in one session before a choral rehearsal.

Kirchberg, Luxembourg, 1988 

Lessons with Kate  Opus 21

Teaching material composed especially for my daughter Kate.

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1992 - 1996  


January Sketches  Opus 25

A lightly blue and anxious entry into a new and unknown year.

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1989  

Irish Mist  Opus 27

An evocative ‘Irish’ theme … which never seems to want to stop ...
Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1989    

Two Pieces for Piano  Opus 28

Two very short pieces for piano, the first in two part counterpoint, the second a lilting slow waltz.

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1989    


Llanberis Suite  Opus 29

Evocations of the village in which I was fortunate enough to be born, Llanberis.

1. Yng Nghae Padarn / In Padarn Field.  2. Carreg Wen / White Rock   3. Pennant  

4. Eglwys St. Padarn / St. Padarn’s Church  5. Bwlch Llanberis / Llanberis Pass  

6. Castell Dolbadarn / Dolbadarn Castle  7. Gorsaf Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon Station

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1989

From the Highest Spire  Opus 31

‘From the highest spire of contentment my fortune is thrown.’ (John Dowland)

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1989

Songs of Regret for Piano  Opus 38

In effect ‘songs without words’ …

1. Tomorrow  2. Close Light  3. Mist in My Eyes 

4. Mist in Your Eyes  5. Sad Song  6. Cariad 

7. In G   8. Unfinished Dream 

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1989  

Twelve Nocturnes  Opus 39

Fundamentally uneasy music, written late at night in the summer of 1989.

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1989

Variations on a Theme Discovered in Prague   Opus 41 

The melody was composed on beermats, one idyllic spring afternoon in Prague, just after the Revolution …     

Prague and Kirchberg, Luxembourg, 1990 


Songs for Piano  Opus 47

At times cinematic, a collection of ‘Songs without Words’ …. 

1. Summer Isle  2. Lullaby  3. Day. 4. After Prague  5. Standing Back. 6. Morning Song 7. Again

Leudelange, Luxembourg, 1991

Twelve Variations on 'Ffarwél i Aberystwyth'  Opus 59 

I play with fragments of the well-known melody (Farewell to Aberystwyth) before arriving at the complete theme just before the end. Another version, similar treatment but for two guitars, was recorded and performed in Wales and throughout South America  by the Welsh-Argentine Guitar Duo.

Published by Alain Van Kerckhoven, Editeur, Brussels. Recorded in Brussels by Leonardo Anglani, with Twenty Four Preludes, Opus 19  AVK 002. A further recording by Mireille Gleizes.

Dedicated to Leonardo Anglani

Kirchberg, Luxembourg, 1992

Heddwch  Opus 70

Heddwch is the Welsh word for peace, which I wish for my father with this music, written just after his death in 1974.

Mersch, Luxembourg, 1994 

Lleuad Llyn Padarn  Opus 75

Moonlight on the lake (Padarn Lake, Llanberis, Wales), seen at the end of my first summer in Fachwen. A nearby Welsh poet called me at 0100 and told me to get up and write some music. He wrote a poem. A deliberate resemblance, for sure, to the Moonlight Sonata but with the organ in St. Padarn’s Church ringing out across the lake .

Fachwen, Wales, Summer 1994

Rondo - Sarabande  Opus 77

A collision of two worlds, styles and expressions.

Mersch, Luxembourg, February 1995      


April Anniversary  Opus 80

Written on the first anniversary of the death of my father.

Mersch, Luxembourg, 1995

Twenty Four Preludes for Piano Book 2  Opus 85

Twenty-four Preludes, one for each key. Book 2 of my ’48’    

Fachwen, Wales, 1995 

Fantasia  Opus 86 

An extended Fantasia for Piano, incorporating a popular Luxembourgish song

Mersch, Luxembourg, 1995    


A Rhiw Suite  Opus 95 

Evocations of the still, bleak beauty found at Rhiw on the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales, and visits to family there. My great-uncle was the Rector of the Church in Rhiw. There are five movements

Fachwen, Wales, 1996 

Six Intermezzi  Opus 96  

One of my favourite sets! The 1st is lyrical, with interruptions; the 2nd wistful, but strong; the 3rd has slow-moving chords; the 4th consists of a restless, obsessive ostinato figure; the 5th an overall climactic piece in which each bar is climactic in itself and finally the 6th, in my favourite key of Db major, offers broad, expansive lyricism.

Buschdorf, Luxembourg, 1996  


Variation  Opus 102  

A short, ever-changing variation on parts of the Welsh National Anthem. More than a hint jazz.

Buschdorf, Luxembourg, 1997 

Three Intermezzi  Opus 108

Different moods, different colours …

Buschdorf, Luxembourg, 1997  


Three Pieces for Piano  Opus 111

 The 1st moves forward, as does the 2nd but in a more questioning near-atonal way. The final piece is chordal, almost frozen.

Buschdorf, Luxembourg, 1998    


Sŵn y Llyn  Opus 112

Inspired by a walk on the beach at Dinas Dinlle, an evocation of Sŵn y Llyn, my then beautiful and spectacular home in Wales.

Dinas Dinlle and Fachwen, Wales, 1998 

Three Sketches  Opus 116  

The 1st is somewhat disjointed and chordal, the 2nd has a repetitive figure int eh right hand, and a dialogue between various motifs in the left. Tge final piece is short and serene.

Buschdorf, Luxembourg, 1998    

Fanfare for New Time  Opus 124 

I was determined to write something during the first minutes of a new millennium, and here it is, a short fanfare for piano!

Fachwen, Wales, New Year’s Eve 1999 - 2000  


From the Diary of One Who Never Was  Opus 128

Five Short Pieces perhaps best explained by the title.

Canach, Luxembourg, 2000

Bossa Nova Galês  Opus 165

An extended fantasia, a Welsh Bossa Nova ….. including the world famous hit 'The Girl from Llanberis' !!!

Canach, Luxembourg, 2006

Dedicated to the Brazilian concert pianist, Antonio Eduardo, who premiered it in Brazil and then performed it throughout South America.

Sonata Latina  Opus 166

Tango, Bossa Chorale and Samba Finale. Stylistic experiments.

Fachwen, Wales. 2007

Dedicated to the Brazilian pianist Antonio Eduardo

Mosella  Opus 184

... a short jazz-based fantasia based on the 'national anthem' of the Moselland.

Canach, Luxembourg, 2008

Dedicated to Inge and Dieter Schlagkamp in Senheim.

Four Fragments  Opus 203

Short, exporatory sketches.

Canach, Luxembourg, 2012 

Variations on a Welsh Lovesong  Opus 215    

The wonderful song is called ‘Mae 'nghariad i’n Fenws’ - My beloved is a Venus!

Hinterthal, Austria, 2013  

Ein Jahresbuch für Klavier - A Yearbook for Piano  Opus 221

A set of 12 pieces, which try to reflect the character of each calendar month

Canach, Luxembourg, 2013

Festina Lente (Malagueña)  Opus 225

Written under a lemon tree at the house of Spanish friends in Andalusia

Nerja, Spain and Canach, Luxembourg, 2014 

Dedicated to Antonia and Enrique

Souvenir d’Autriche / Dream Fragments  Opus 230 

A waking dream, typical melodic fragments and styles emerge, evolve …

Hinterthal, Austria, 2014

Abschied vom Tannenbaum  Opus 233


... as the dream of Christmas fades ... eight short variations. 

Hinterthal, Austria, 2014


Gaudete  Opus 244

A Christmas Variation, written for Noel Morgan

Hinterthal, Austria, 2014 

Roman Graves  Opus 254 

The first music I wrote in Senheim. I recorded these five short pieces in May 2016, in Trier. They are meditations on passing time and grief. The Roman graves are on the opposite bank of the the Mosel, at the top of a hill. One of them is the grave of a child.

Senheim, Germany, 2016

Four Russian Vignettes  Opus 288

Written in 2019 or was it 1909 .... ? Opulent lyrical music ‘in the Russian style.’ 

Senheim, Germany, 2019 

Six Russian Sketches  Opus 290

Short pieces in Russian styles. 

Senheim, Germany, 2019 

Six Austrian Sketches  Opus 292

A reworking of various elements in Austrian music. 

Hinterthal, Austria, 2019 

Im Verborgenen: Four Hidden Pieces  Opus 295

... from a mysterious painting by the Austrian artist Georg Schreder. 

Hinterthal, Austria, 2019

Fantasia ‘Der Engel des Herrn'  Opus 297

Melody: Volksgut Oberbayern - Salzburg. Written and recorded 23-24 December, 2019 

Senheim, Germany, 2019 

Para Carlotta  Opus 299

Para Carlotta ... For Carlotta … 

Senheim, Germany, 2020

Messages  Opus 302

Ambiguous. restless, tentative, questioning - the mood of the first Covid lockdown in 2020

Senheim, Germany, 2020

Evelyn Flora  Opus 309

A piano Lullaby for my new-born grand-daughter.

Senheim, Germany, 2021

Lullaby for Evelyn and Kate  Opus 310

for my new-born grand-daughter and her mother.

Senheim, Germany, 2021

And Mary Said Unto Mary  Opus 319

A meditation.

On the Schönfeldspitze in Pinzgau the cross was formed from a wooden carving of Mary holding Jesus, two figures - one vertical, one horizontal. It needed to replaced after a storm. Prior to the installation on the summit, both Marys, old and new, were placed together in the workshop where the new figure was created. This music speculates as to possible exchanges between the old, weather-worn Pietà and the fresh, new one.

Hinterthal, Austria, 2021

From An Old Austrian Clock  Opus 320

Five short pieces, messages in a way from my Old Austrian Clock (1750) which became irregular and sporadic before returning to its former glory after a major overhaul. Happy Alphorns celebrate the restoration in the final piece.

Hinterthal, Austria, 2021

Christmas Eve  Opus 326

A simple short piece, reflecting the simple pleasure of warmth, cosiness and Christmas lights. Kaminmusik ...

Senheim, Germany, Christmas Eve 2021

Herbie Grayson  Opus 327

Part of an ever-growing series: Music for Babies in which every new-born (family, friends) gets his or her own lullaby, based on the rhythm of the name - often within an hour or two of the birth.

Senheim, Germany, 2022 

Glory to Ukraine  Opus 328a

'Glory to Ukraine' is so called because I use phrases from the Ukrainian national anthem to form different musical structures. Written in a few days at the end of March 2022, this my necessary response to the terrible Russian war of aggression and is closely related to my String Quartet of the same name.

Chiddingly, Hove, England, Senheim, Germany, 2022 

Deadwater Lament  Opus 329

Returning to the South of France after some decades, I sat in the Square at Aigues Mortes and listened to the relentless tolling of an ancient funeral bell. I wondered whose life was being summarised in the gaps between each strike, and had the idea to put snapshots of my own time in the area between the bell notes. I quote here from my Carnon Suite, a very early work, with a little summary of each movement. The bell does not stop.

Carnon, Aigues Mortes, France, 2022 

Music for Different Hands  Opus 337

Two short pieces, one for each hand.

Senheim, Germany, 2023

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