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Premiere Title of Commission Composer Listen
11/14/2004 Lonely Hearts Giles Swayne Listen Close

Although often very funny and rather saucy (the fourth song, Verse for a Birthday Card, is a mini-fugue on the words “Some people like sex more than others”), they also have distinctly serious and quite poignant undertones.

11/11/2020 The Spell of the Rose Craig Galbraith Listen Close

Thomas Hardy’s poem The Spell of the Rose tells a story of alternating hope and turmoil in a troubled love relationship. Galbraith assigns passages of direct speech to solo voice and narrative passages to the full choir; he also adapts the poem slightly, dovetailing together Hardy’s first and second stanzas.

09/27/2004 Graphic 10 Harry Freedman Listen Close

Graphic 10 is part of a series of Freedman’s compositions that pay homage to the visual arts. Like its predecessor Graphic 8, this piece was inspired by Henri Matisse’s 1947 limited-edition art book Jazz, which contained prints of many of the artist’s brightly coloured cut-paper collages of figures in silhouette.

06/04/2021 Death of Shalana R. Murray Schafer Listen Close

Shafer composed The Death of Shalana with the intention that it should eventually be sung across a lake, with the four choirs on different shores.

04/22/2004 A Musical Offering Omar Daniel Listen Close

Prompted both by the polyphonic nature of Bach’s 'Musical Offering' and the spirit of adventure it evinces, Daniel chose to freely rewrite Frederick’s theme, using fragments and motifs from it.

04/22/2004 A Gift for King Freddie Harry Freedman Listen Close

Despite its irreverent title, Freedman’s contribution to Freddy’s Tune is not, this time, a jazz piece. Nor does it contain the original theme given to Bach by King Frederick.

04/22/2004 Freddy's Blend Craig Galbraith Listen Close

For the most part, Galbraith uses the notes of King Frederick’s original theme but rearranges them in various ways. Sometimes the notes are played simultaneously; sometimes the tune is transformed by means of such simple techniques as inverting it or playing it backwards.

04/22/2004 Fred and John Were Having Tea (When I Dropped By) Melissa Hui Listen Close

Hui uses traditional gestures idiomatic to the piano trio to translate and transform the original theme. Her piece contains virtuosic lines for all instruments, each of which exists alone, and within, a densely contrapuntal texture.

04/22/2004 Freddy's Dead James Rolfe Listen Close

Rolfe emploie certaines des méthodes que Bach a lui-même utilisées pour l’Offrande musicale, notamment le renversement, le rétrograde et le renversement du rétrograde. La majeure partie de Freddy’s Dead est dérivée du troisième mouvement de la sonate en trio de l’Offrande musicale, dont Rolfe a accéléré le matériau pour ensuite le contraindre en l’ajustant aux temps forts (clé de fa) et aux temps faibles (clé de sol).

04/22/2004 Vorwissen Paul Steenhuisen Listen Close

Steenhuisen grapples in his piece with what he calls the “retrograde/palindrome problem”—the fact that, while music moves forward through time, the concept of a retrograde melody or musical palindrome requires the listener to experience the music moving both forwards and in reverse.

02/29/2004 The Fall into Light R. Murray Schafer Listen Close

The Fall into Light is a syncretic work based on texts from a wide variety of sources, mostly gnostic, hermetic, and mystical, but also including writings by Rilke and Nietzsche, along with some reflections of Schafer’s own.