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JULIAN TREVELYAN PERFORMS 'SNOWMAN RHAPSODY' IN THE GASTEIG MUNICH, Gasteig Munich 8.00 pm

7th July 2018
Beethoven sonata op.27 no. 1   (15 mins)
Beethoven sonata op.27 no. 2 Moonlight   (15 mins)
Chopin - Etudes op.25 nos. 1, 2 and 3   (6 mins)
Blake  Prelude for Vova  (3 mins)

- interval -

Schubert Adagio in E major D612    (5 mins)
Blake Snowman Rhapsody    (43 mins)

 

THE SNOWMAN RHAPSODY FOR SOLO PIANO op.663 (August 2014)

A concert arrangement of material from the animated film and the stage show
Published by: Chester Music/Highbridge Music - to rent or buy music contact Chester Music or anna@annamenzies.com
Instrumentation: Solo piano

[Key to Abbreviations]
Duration: 43 mins
First Performance: St James's Piccadilly, Talent Unlimited, Julian Trevelyan, November 17th 2016

Sheet Music Available
Instrumental / piano score for sale
Instrumental / piano score for hire

All sheet music for "The Snowman" and "Walking In The Air" since 2010 is published and available from Chester Music Ltd, part of The Music Sales Group, www.chesternovello.com It can be purchased online from MusicRoom.com, or from music retailers.

"Walking In The Air" is also available in a concert piano-only version arranged by the composer direct from Highbridge Music as part of the collection of piano pieces called "Lifecycle", available form Amazon or from Highbridge Music; enquiries to anna@annamenzies.com

Howard Blake describes 25 years of The Snowman animated film and 10 years of The Snowman Stage Show at Sadler's Wells Peacock Theatre in London's West End and plays "Walking in the Air". View the recording here.

The classic original Columbia album conducted by Howard Blake with treble soloist Peter Auty and narration by Bernard Cribbins is available from Sony Music Entertainment CDX71116CD, Amazon and retailers.

The 2010 DVD film of The Snowman Live Stage Show narrated by Joanna Lumley is available from Sony Music Entertainment, CDR 81267; also from Amazon and retailers.

Movements

  • 1: WAKING TO A WORLD OF SNOW
  • 2: FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW
  • 3: BUILDING THE SNOWMAN
  • 4: BEDTIME FROLICS
  • 5: THE SNOWMAN COMES TO LIFE
  • 6: THE CAT
  • 7: THE CHRISTMAS TREE
  • 8: THE KITCHEN
  • 9: THE LIGHTSWITCH
  • 10: TROPICAL FRUIT CAYPSO
  • 11: THE MUSIC BOX
  • 12: THE MOTOR BIKE
  • 13: THE RABBIT AND THE FOX
  • 14: THE BADGER
  • 15: THE SQUIRREL
  • 16: THE SNOWMAN IS DRIPPING
  • 17: THE SNOWMAN RECOVERS
  • 18: DREAMS OF FLYING
  • 19: WALKING IN THE AIR
  • 20: THE FROZEN NORTH
  • 21: FATHER CHRISTMAS
  • 22: THE DANCE OF THE SNOWMEN
  • 23: THE ICE-PRINCESS AND THE SNOWMAN (PAS DE DEUX)
  • 24: JACK FROST'S STORM DANCE
  • 25: FAREWELLS
  • 26: FLYING HOME
  • 27: BOY SLEEPING
  • 28: NEXT MORNING
  • 29: THE SNOWMAN IS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN

Notes

Programme-note for 'Snowman Rhapsody'

In 2006 Robert Matthew Walker, music critic and editor of Musical Opinion attended a performance of the 2-act stage show 'The Snowman' at The Peacock Theatre and wrote: 'Howard Blake's ballet "The Snowman" is now such a part of the Christmas Season in London that it deserves to be produced again and again well into the 22nd century. It is one of those rare theatrical pieces that appeals and impresses theatregoers of all ages. Musically, the score is a masterpiece. I do not use the word lightly. Howard Blake's world famous song 'Walking in the Air', with which Aled Jones had such a success, is used as a basis for a virtually continuous set of symphonic variations; a subtle and fully-wrought score which entrances the ears of all who are brought into the magical world it conjures up'. Both the original animated film and the later-created ballet were of course originally scored for orchestra, but the composer is also a pianist and over the years has often played excerpts on piano, the most notable being that of the song 'Walking in the Air' which in 2013 was recorded by no less a colleague than Vladimir Ashkenazy. The success of this prompted Blake to pursue the concept further, assembling all those sections of the Snowman music which he felt might lend themselves to piano transcription and gradually creating an immense concert work for solo piano lasting about 43 minutes. Although continuous the work contains many different sections the names of which are printed in the programme. It is thought that perhaps an addition to the work's entertainment may well be derived from the guesswork of trying to identify the sections by the different styles and emotions conveyed by their music.

[Howard Blake)

 

'THE CHAMBER MUSIC OF HOWARD BLAKE' AT COBLENZ INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL, Solo pianist for performance of 'Speech after long silence' Florian Koltun ; Players for duo , piano trio and piano quartet - Wolfgang Schroeder (violin), Karolina Herrera(viola), Benedict Kloeckner (cello), Xin Wang(piano), Der Alten Kirche, Spay (nr. Coblenz) 17.00 pm 5th International Music Festival, Coblenz, September 9th 2018

9th September 2018

COBLENZ INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESENT A PROGRAMME OF MUSIC BY HOWARD BLAKE TO CELEBRATE HIS 80th YEAR. Der Alten Kirche, Spay, Coblenz, September 9th., 2018 at 17.00 pm

1. SPEECH AFTER LONG SILENCE for solo piano, a piece commissioned by Vladimir Ashkenazy for the Hong Kong International Piano Competition 2011 (Opus 610) solo piano: Florian Koltun

'Unlike most new works, whose fate is to be played on multiple occasions ad nauseam at a competition and then shelved for eternity thereafter, this one promises to be heard rather often. Blake’s partiality for tonality and emotional connection (unsurprising for the composer of the children’s favourite The Snowman) makes this a most accessible work. At about 8 minutes, its Romantic gestures replete with lush harmonies and crashing chords resemble an updated and extended version of one of Rachmaninov’s Etudes-tableaux'  Chang Tou Lang,     

2. ‘DIVERSIONS FOR CELLO AND PIANO’, the work that in 2010 won Benedict Kloeckner the European Broadcasting Union first prize (Opus 337A) Piano Howard Blake, Cello Benedict Kloeckner

1: Prelude (moderato)  2: Scherzo (vivace)  3: March (tempo di marcia) 4: Waltz (vivo)  5: Aria (andante espressivo)  6: Serenade (allegretto)  7: Sarabande (lento non troppo) 8: Finale (vivo)  minutes 27 seconds

‘Diversions’ was originally conceived as a suite for cello and piano as far back as 1973. In 1984 the great French cellist Maurice Gendron encouraged the composer to rework the piece for cello and orchestra, and he himself edited the cello part. The first performance of the work in this orchestral form was given by Steven Isserlis and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Groves at The Fairfield Halls Croydon on 29th March 1989. This transcription for cello and piano was made by the composer at about the same time

 The work pays mischievous homage to instrumental suites of the past. The Scherzo is not quite a scherzo, the March more than a march. The Waltz has a wrong-stepping jazz tinge to it, the Aria a sudden profundity. The Serenade bursts into arrogant display, the guitar-like Sarabande becomes an eloquent cadenza. We are led back to the theme of the Prelude via a Finale of such bristling virtuosic energy that its simple melodic line assumes a far more complex character – having been well and truly ‘diverted’.Diversions' is also the name of an album of music by Howard Blake for cello and piano played by Benedict Kloeckner and the composer, released in 2015 by the Leipzig label Genuin. ’Benedict Kloeckner plays the cello music of Howard Blake, with the composer himself accompanying - unfailingly attractive and often tremendous fun for both performers and lsiteners., THE STRAD, 2/2018


3. PIANO TRIO NO. 3 ‘ELEGIA STRAVAGANTE’ (Opus 654) a trio in 7 linked movements, first performed at the Coblenz International Music Festival 2013 Violin Wolfgang Schroeder, Cello Benedict Kloeckner, Piano Howard Blake


Movements

  • 1: Andante (rapsodico) (October 2013)

Composer's notes: On the afternoon of my birthday I went to sleep for a short while and dreamed up a septuplet 'trill-flourish' motif in C major and an ensuing 'upward-sweeping' melodic fragment of a minor 2nd and major 7th, both of which I immediately wrote down. This was to be the material on which the trio was based.

  • 2: Scherzo malizioso

I was searching for a 6/8 allegro idea and worked at several until I suddenly remembered the 'jazz fugue' from 'Movement for orchestra' which I'd written way back in about 1963. It seemed to fit perfectly and work most effectively for piano trio, forming a perfect link between the Andante (rapsodico) and the next section Tragico.

  • 3: Tragico

Tragico begins with the upward-sweeping motif, but now very slow and sad. This forms a bridge and modulation to E-minor where the cello enunciates the theme 'Parting', a fragment I had dreamt up whilst preparing the repertoire for Vladimir Ashkenazy's album of my piano works in June 2013. Here the 'Parting' theme develops greatly, leading quite rapidly and unexpectedly to a colossal climax, then falling down to a paused low chord of C major which begins section 4.

  • 4: Grave, molto espressivo

Grave molto espressivo is a deeply-felt cadenza for violin and cello which then starts to accelerate (piu mosso) towards section 5

  • 5: Allegro furioso

Cello and violin play in unison at the 16th against a constantly turning piano phrase using the ever-present 'trill-flourish' motif. Martial and tragic hints and twists are now overcome by massive upward scalic movements seeking a major key and suddenly triumphantly asserting that of E major.

  • 6: Giojoso, estatico

Giojoso, ecstatico transforms and inverts the minor 'upward-sweeping' theme into a major 'hymn of triumph' punctuated with huge piano chords. The energy of this is so great however that it must inevitably sink down to regain stability and a hardly-moving harmonic 'thirds duplet' grows gradually quieter and slower until it sinks away to nothing without resolution.

  • 7: Andante, come prima (January 2014)

The music of the opening returns but this time in the key to which the piece has ascended - E major, the final bar picking up the 'trill-flourish' motif and giving the whole work a resolution with a very short coda on violin and cello sounding alone - yet perhaps finally together. The piano is wise enough not to interfere

 

4. PIANO QUARTET (Opus 179) Xin Wang (piano), Wolfgang Schroeder (violin), Karolina Herrera (viola), Benedict Kloeckner (cello)

  • 1: Allegro con anima 7 minutes 15 seconds

A dramatic theme A (and in A minor) is presented by unison violin and viola over a pounding rhythm that would be equally at home in rock. A second theme B is equally rhythmic on contrapuntal strings over hammering piano semiquavers but subsides into a lyrical C minor piano version of A against legato strings. This subsides further again into a Theme C (and in C major) announced by the cello. It is spread across the three strings against piano chords gradually dying down to a held F sharp unison. This kicks off the development by taking us back to the first tempo but this time featuring theme B with running semiquavers which build and build until a pedal pulls us back into a full-bodied return of our home theme A on full strings and rocking piano chords.

  • 2: Presto 5 minutes 23 seconds
    Scherzo

A very fast tempo allows all instruments to fly through a Scherzo of heavily-syncopated rhythms and riotous escapades. It follows the scherzo form with a trio featuring predominantly piano against pizzicato cello, but they yield to questioning phrases on violin and viola before recapping to the scherzo and a noisy coda.

  • 3: Lento espressivo 7 minutes 39 seconds

3. Lento espressivo
The deeply reflective E major slow movement of the Piano Quartet has always been particularly dear to me. I wrote it one beautiful Spring afternoon in 1974 at Highbridge Mill, with sun streaming through the window and total silence. It begins with a major third repeated on the piano acting as a bell-like accompaniment to three statements of a four-note rising phrase, firstly started by violin, secondly by viola and thirdly by cello. The piano weaves intricate patterns around them until the four notes echo again in a diminuendo of violin, viola and cello to a close.

  • 4: Allegro robusto 6 minutes 50 seconds

4.Allegro robusto

The fourth movement is pure sixties. A jig-like rhythmic theme A is presented in 3-part string canon in several transpositions against vibrant 'rock 'n roll' chording. A second theme B on the dominant is presented on the viola against rising minims. Theme A returns in a piano solo doubling at the 16th but stops abruptly to reveal very quiet slow piano chords. Against them is placed a mysterious theme C which builds to a surprisingly large climax. It does this again in a different key but at the height of the climax this time hurls us back into theme B. Cello begins a strict fugue which is joined by viola, violin and piano building into a powerful stretto which bursts straight back into the 3-part contrapuntal jig of the beginning and a unison accelerando coda.

Notes

The opening of the first movement is used as a signature theme by KUSC, the audience-supported classical music radio station of the University of Southern California. Its composer is delighted and honoured by this

 

'A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY' ON LONDON LIVE, Kenneth Branagh and Colin Firth. Euston Films, director Pat O'Connor, London Live TV

6th October 2018
Score for string orchestra only composed and conducted by Howard Blake

'NOCTURNE' IN BIRMINGHAM, David Quiglay piano recital, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham 1.10pm

12th October 2018

'CHRIST CHURCH MASS' IN KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL, Dr. Joseph Fort conducts the Chapel Choir, King's College Chapel, London University, Somerset House , Strand, 1.10pm

24th October 2018
This work was commissioned by Howard's local church, Christchurch Kensington, to celebrate its 140th anniversary in 1991. It was given its first performance there on July 21st of that year.

'THE BEAR' ON LONDON LIVE

27th October 2018

An animated film made by TVC/Channel 4 1997/98 with many of the same team who made 'The Snowman' (1982) it is similarly based on a wordless picture-book by Raymond Briggs and called 'The Bear' (published by Julia Macrae Books), but was directed and scripted by Hilary Audus in conjunction with Joanna Harrison. Music and lyrics are by Howard Blake who also conducted The Philharmonia Orchestra and the singers: Charlotte Church (girl soprano), Martyn Hill (tenor) and Peter Knapp (bass).

Howard Blake writes: All the sung parts in the film originally had lyrics but sadly producer John Coates decided they were better sung to 'la, la,la' which was a great pity, particularly for Charlotte Church who was the discovery of the film and soon after soared to stardom.  I wrote music and lyrics of 'Somewhere a star shines for everyone' especially for her as 'she' skates down the frozen Thames. In the version shown on TV today however these lyrics are only heard in the very end sequence. If heard with all the lyrics 'The Bear' starts to become like a little animated opera. It was brilliantly performed live in this way in Christmas 2017 at the Forum Arts Centre, Bath.  Jason Thornton conducted brilliant performances with The Bath Philharmonia and singers.

Soon after The Bear's release it appears that the producers sold some or all of the rights to Harvey Weinstein, who evidently loved the music I had written. He rang me and said: 'The score for The Bear is not just good, it's brilliant. You are my man!' However I never heard from him again and for a while the film appeared in USA with a desperately inappropriate narration which drowned out all the music. . This seems to have been corrected at least in the UK, and it was good to watch with just the music as originally intended. Well done London Live! Perhaps eventually the lyrics will also return?

Film, score, orchestral parts and vocal parts with lyrics available for performance by contacting Highbridge Music: anna@annamenzies.com 07711 617718

PERFORMANCE OF THE DRAMATIC ORATORIO 'BENEDICTUS' AT ST. GORAN'S, STOCKHOLM, Richard Edgard Wilson, tenor, Eivind Ringstad, solo viola, Olov Risberg conductor: Stockholm Gosskor. Capella Sine Nomine. Performance of 'Benedictus' by English composer Howard Blake in celebration of his 80th birthday, St Gorans Church Stockholm, Sweden, Tickets 100kr.

18th November 2018

A capacity house included the presence of the Swedish Catholic Cardinal Arbelius. The composer had flown over for the occasion with English tenor soloist Richard Edgar Wilson. The work was superbly performed by all concerned and the audience greeted it with great enthusiasm.

THE SNOWMAN STAGE SHOW 21ST LONDON SEASON, 25TH YEAR IN BIRMINGHAM, Sadler's Wells/Birmingham Rep, Peacock Theatre

23rd November 2018
- 16th January 2019

SNOWMAN WITH THE LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, Performed with orchestra wirh projected film, Alistair Malloy (compere), ROYAL PHILHARMONIC HALL LIVERPOOL

16th December 2018

'THE SNOWMAN' WITH THE LIVERPOOL STRING QUARTET WITH NARRATION SPOKEN BY HOWARD BLAKE, Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room lunchtime concert including Question and Answer session with the audience 1-2.00pm

17th December 2018

THE SNOWMAN CONCERT VERSION AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL, Royal Albert Hall, three performances on 20th December

20th December 2018

BATH PHILHARMONIA DOUBLE-BILL - 'THE SNOWMAN' AND 'THE BEAR', Jason Thornton conducts the Bath Philharmonia, The Forum, 3.00pm

22nd December 2018

Blake – The Bear

Blake – The Snowman

Set course for our annual trip to the North Pole just in time to see the Northern Lights, meet Father Christmas and have a dance with a snowman or two. The Snowman has become an unparalleled Christmas tradition, and The Bear is a perfect counterpart telling the story of Tilly’s attempts to help an escaped polar bear return home. This magical double bill is the perfect Christmas treat for all the family with Bath Philharmonia playing Howard Blake’s scores live to Raymond Briggs’ amazing animations.

Please note: Babes in arms may sit on their parent/carer’s lap however anyone aged 2 or above must have their own ticket and reserved seat.

© Snowman Enterprises Limited “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs is published by Puffin, image © Snowman Enterprises Ltd,   www.thesnowman.com

THE SNOWMAN AT SNAPE MALTINGS ALDEBURGH, Ben Parry, childen's choir and orchestra

23rd December 2018

STAND-UP OVATION AND ENCORE FOR A NEW CATALAN SONG - 'LA MEVA TERRA'!, Ana Puche lyric soprano,The Liverpool String Quartet with Jaume Comas as narrator of The Snowman. Concert produced by Ars Aurea Sonora (director Jordi Borras) with the support of 'Generalitat de Catalunya - Departament de Cultura

3rd January 2019
- 10th January 2019
Three concerts on 3, 4 and 6 January 2019 with music by Howard Blake in the vicinity of Tarragona: Les Borges, La Selva and Montblanc. Programme including a new song 'La Meva Terra' with lyrics by Jaume Comas and music by Howard Blake, for soprano, flute, string quartet and organ, Ana Puche soprano and The Liverpool String Quartet with Nelia Sanxis (flute) who will also play the solo part in performances of the Flute Quintet. Also featuring 'A Month in the Country' for string quartet and a virtuoso solo organ piece originally composed for the great organist Dame Gillian Weir - 'The Rise of the House of Usher'. played in La Selva by young Catalan organist Joan Segui

'HAIKU' AT THE GASTEIG, Julian Trevelyan, Gasteig Munich

6th April 2019
SOLO PIANO RECITAL

NEW ROBERT NORTH BALLET 'COLOURS OF THE WORLD' - BLAKE 'THE ANNUNCIATION' & STRAVINSKY 'PULCINELLA, Ballet evening by Robert North. Musical direction: Andreas Fellner , choreography: Robert North , choreographed assistant: Sheri Cook , stage and costumes: Andrew Storer, MonnchenGladbach Opera/Krefeld Opera

4th May 2019
- 4th August 2019

THREE BALLETS DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY ROBERT NORTH

From paintings of the Renaissance and the classical modernity Robert North draws the ideas for this opulent ballet evening, to which the Niederrheinische Sinfoniker give musical splendor.

Henri Matisse caused a sensation in the 1940s with a series of paper cutouts, including many circus motifs. He was no stranger to the circles of the European avant-garde when this cycle appeared under the title Jazz - an allusion to the principle of improvisation. Robert North approaches Matisse with the eye and the imagination of the choreographer and gains exciting impulses for the dance from the colorfulness, ornamentation and clarity of the images in combination with music by Stravinsky.

A popular subject in Florentine painting of the 15th century, which also Sandro Botticelli took up, is the Annunciation to Mary. Botticelli made this biblical scene so theatrically expressive that Robert North felt inspired by the painting and, in collaboration with the composer Howard Blake, freely interpreted The Annunciation as ballet.


'AGATHA' SUITE CONDUCTED BY THE COMPOSER - HARROGATE PROMS, Harrogate Symphony Orchestra ('Agatha Suite' to be conducted by Howard Blake), Harrogate Proms, Royal Hall Harrogate, Yorkshire

22nd June 2019
A Very British Proms
Royal Hall June 22nd 2019
English Folk Song Suite (11) Vaughan-Williams
Elizabethan Serenade (3.40) and Binge
The Watermill (3.50) (oboe soloist)
Jupiter (from The Planets) (7.30) Holst
The Lark Ascending (15) Vaughan-Williams
By the Sleepy Lagoon (4) Coates
March from the Little Suite (4) Trevor Duncan
4 Scottish Dances (10) Malcolm Arnold
Proms:
Crown Imperial (7) Walton
Chanson de Matin (4) Elgar
Agatha (12) Howard Blake
Nimrod (Enigma Variations) (3) Elgar
Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1 or 4 (5) Elgar
Fantasia on British Sea Songs (18) Wood/Sergeant
and Rule Britannia
Jerusalem (3) Parry
Timings:
1st half: 62
2nd half: 52 mins

'BENEDICTUS' AT THE CATHEDRAL AND ABBEY CHURCH OF ST. ALBAN, 1. THE RISE OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (opus 532, 2003), solo organ Thomas Trotter. [A work originally commissioned by the Usher Hall Edinburgh to celebrate the restoration of the Willis organ in 2005 and first performed there by Dame Gillian Weir 10.06.2003.] 2. SONGS OF TRUTH AND GLORY - Five poems of George Herbert, (opus 546) for chamber choir and ensemble. [ Originally commissioned as The Elgar Commission of the Three Choirs Festival 2005] Here perf. by the chamber choir conducted by Andrew Lucas. 3. BENEDICTUS (opus 282, originally commissioned by the Abbot of Worth to celebrate the 1500th birthday of St. Benedict, 1980, revised 1986). Peter Auty (solo tenor), Rosalind Ventris (solo viola), St. Albans Bach Choir (chorus-master Andrew Lucas) and the chamber choir of King's College London (chorus master Joseph Fort) with The Orchestra of The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields conducted by the composer. Speaker the very rev. the Dean of Saint Albans (tbc).

13th July 2019
A concert of the music of Howard Blake obe fram, firstly celebrating his 80th year, secondly celebrating the opening of the 30th St Albans organ festival directed by David Titterington, and thirdly recalling that the world premiere of Howard Blake's oratorio 'Benedictus' was given in St Albans Cathedral by Sir David Willcocks (conductor), Robert Tear (tenor) and Frederick Riddle (viola) with The St Albans Bach and Cathedral Choirs and The English Chamber Orchetra. The speaker was the very rev. the Dean of Saint Albans, (25.01.86)

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