Fand Music Press is a publisher of high quality sheet music, CDs and books, all focussing on accessible 20th Century and contemporary composers and concentrating mainly on first editions. Please use the tabs at the top of the page to explore the catalogue. Further details, such as information about ordering, can be found on the Contact/Info page.
Fand Music Press is delighted to publish another new piano piece by Peter Thompson: his just-completed Toccata for Piano. This fast, exciting and flamboyant piece with intricate dance overtones should be highly rewarding material for competent pianists (Grade 8 and above).
Also new this month from Fand, unusually, is a new edition of a very well-known piece, beloved of choirs in the North of England in particular: Hail, Smiling Morn by Reginald Spofforth. This is arguably the most well-known and lastingly popular glee in the entire glee repertory, and although it has ‘universal’ words and is not inherently seasonal in any way, there is such a strong tradition of performing it at Christmas and Easter that people often consider it a carol. Nevertheless, it can be sung at any time of year.
The new Fand edition is an enhanced version of an edition published in the nineteenth century, and has been produced with amateur choirs in mind. It has also been priced accordingly, to make it affordable to often struggling groups. A characteristic of many amateur choirs today is a shortage of male singers to fill out the lower voice parts. This version of Hail, Smiling Morn recognises this problem and provides a single male-voice line that can be sung by tenors and/or basses (together with Soprano and Alto upper parts). Alternative upper and lower notes are provided for tenors and basses, but either or both may be sung and the male line is otherwise in unison.
The resulting three-part arrangement is still sufficiently harmonically full to be performed unaccompanied if desired. (The original glee was written for four unaccompanied male voices, with the top alto line being sung by one or more countertenors.) However, an optional piano part is also provided, and is a proper accompaniment rather than merely a reduction of the voice parts. It too fills out the harmony in places and provides further interest to the arrangement.
The latest composition by Peter Thompson to be published by Fand Music Press is his newly written Soliloquy for Piano. This sonorously discursive piece for the competent pianist (Grade 8 and above) has already received a rave review by Murray McLachlan in the May/June 2015 issue of International Piano. As the reviewer notes, the music is sufficiently rich that it conveys an orchestral impression:
His four-page ‘Soliloquy’ for solo piano is intriguingly crafted, with strikingly original harmonic and contrapuntal movement that takes your fingers, if not your ears, by surprise. The colours and textures are orchestrally charged – yet the effects are achieved without bombast or excess. Beautiful, wistful music which makes considerable use of motivic variation techniques in only 112 bars. The music sounds like an orchestral transcription…
…yet this does not come at the cost of excessive technical difficulty:
…it is in fact a pleasure to play through, especially at the sustained chordal climaxes towards the end. Post-Grade 8 players in search of something different but not outlandish could really enjoy this. A quietly original piece that will give tactile as well as aural pleasure. I look forward to becoming familiar with more music from this underrated composer.
Regular visitors to this site may like to note the new Friends of Fand feature, now visible on this opening news page. An extension of our News system, we intend to use this new feature to draw attention to items that are tangentially related to Fand or, at least, of interest to Fand and its visitors.
So, please keep an eye on this page regularly for interesting updates, and if you know of anything that we should be aware of for the Friends of Fand section, do please get in touch with us!
Incidentally, just like our other news items, the Friends of Fand entries will be archived permanently in the News Archive, so they’ll remain available even when they’re too old to appear on the opening page.
Cara Thompson, niece of Fand composer Peter Thompson, is currently a music student, and sang Bax’s I heard a piper piping as part of a final-year recital in October last year. Although Fand does not publish this particular song, our Bax ties are sufficiently strong that we thought that our regular visitors might enjoy the opportunity to experience the performance. View it below or on our YouTube channel (direct link). Please note that the words are presented as optional subtitles over the video.
Last year, Fand published Humanities, a book of poetry by Julian Farmer. Here, we are pleased to be able to present a short video of Julian reading one of his poems, The Cyclists, from a copy of the published book. Take a look at the video below or on our YouTube channel (direct link). The text of the poem is presented as optional subtitles over the video.
Previous announcements may be found in the Fand News Archive.