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.
Easter may seem an unusual time to publish a Christmas carol, but never mind; it’s in plenty of time for the next festive season!
With Christmas Bells, Fand Music Press is delighted to welcome Philip Mead to its list of published composers. Philip is known primarily as a concert pianist who specialises in modern repertoire, and is a longstanding ‘Friend of Fand’, having performed many of Peter Thompson’s piano pieces over the years. Indeed, near the end of 2015 Philip gave a piano recital featuring the music of Bax and Thompson, most of it published by Fand, and even more recently his chamber choir premièred Peter’s arrangement of The Keys of Heaven.
However, Philip is now making his Fand debut as a composer, and presents us with not just the music of Christmas Bells but also an audio recording of a recent performance of the piece, given by the chamber choir that he conducts. This highly attractive new carol, featuring a memorable melody, is written for four-part SATB choir (with divisi) and a choice of piano, organ or (ideally) brass ensemble accompaniment. The style of the accompaniment (especially when played by the brass ensemble of two trumpets and two trombones) evokes, as suggested by the title, the sound of chiming and later pealing bells.
This is now being followed up by a companion piece, Pensive Twilight: a new arrangement of the first movement of the Four Orchestral Pieces. The Four Orchestral Pieces were first performed in their original version in March 1914, so this piano arrangement appears on the 102nd anniversary, to the month, of that event. Bax subsequently revised the work in 1928, omitting the last movement and renaming the others while revising them; thus, Pensive Twilight later became Evening Piece.
John Mitchell’s arrangement is of the original version and hence bears its original title. As with Dance in the Sun, the arrangement attempts to present Bax’s music faithfully in a pianistic way, and is aimed at advanced pianists.
Fand’s final release of 2015 is an exciting and important one: the first edition of Sir Arnold Bax’s Scherzo for piano, edited and typeset by leading Bax authority Graham Parlett. A work of significant length and considerable technical demands, it represents a stimulating challenge to advanced pianists.
The precise origins of the Scherzo are unknown: completed in 1913, it was clearly marked as being the second movement of an otherwise unknown Piano Sonata; it may possibly be part of Bax’s lost Sonata in D minor. Bax orchestrated the score in 1917, in which form it received a couple of performances, and he also created a truncated arrangement for pianola roll, released in 1921, in which form the piece apparently enjoyed significant popularity. Some time later, in 1933, Bax produced a revised orchestral version under the title Symphonic Scherzo, and this version of the work was recorded by Chandos in 1986.
As for this original piano version of the piece, the first known performance – from the manuscript – took the form of a recording made by Malcolm Binns for a Pavilion Records LP in 1981. The score itself has never previously been published, and Fand is delighted to finally bring it to light.
We are delighted to be able to present a video of the performance here on the Fand site and also on the Fand YouTube channel. Very many thanks to Dan Leighton for supplying the video and to the choir for permitting its performance to be shared in this way.
Recently, Fand advertised an exciting lunchtime concert given last November by international pianist Philip Mead in Cambridge. The half-hour recital featured a programme of music by Sir Arnold Bax and Peter Thomspon, virtually all of it published by Fand, and four of the performances were world premières.
We are delighted to say that the concert was videoed, and we have been given permission to put the entire performance online. So whether or not you were able to attend in person, you can now sit back and enjoy the recital at your leisure! Click the embedded video below to watch the whole concert on this page, or find more details (including separate videos of each piece) on the concert information page.
World-renowned cellist Lionel Handy has released an outstanding new CD containing both the underrated Cello Concerto of Sir Arnold Bax and the totally unknown Cello Concerto of Stanley Bate, which Lionel Handy himself has transcribed, edited and prepared. This new CD represents not just the work’s first recording but indeed its very first performance. Lionel’s two previous CDs, BAX: Works for Cello and Piano and From Bohemia to Wessex were both produced with Fand’s involvement. Although the same is not true of this new Lyrita disc, Fand is nevertheless very excited by its arrival, and is delighted to make it available for sale at an advantageous price.
Previous announcements may be found in the Fand News Archive.