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Philip Underwood

List of Compositions


A Brooklands Wedding Bouquet  (B/C) £10.00

Graceful Toccatina - Early Bird - Song of Love - Creation - Rag - Pot Pourri

And talking of ‘grannies’ (see Gordon Lawson), here is what the composer says about his latest Fagus offering: “Wedding congregations offer a unique challenge to the organist. Music is required with tunes that ‘granny’ will recognise in a style to satisfy the ‘coolest’ net surfer. Hopefully, this lively set of pieces goes some way to meeting that need and proves, yet again, what a vibrant instrument the organ is. As a recital item, audience participation can be encouraged by the offer of a small prize for the correct identification of all the hidden melodies, recalling the heyday of the popular music quiz ‘Face the Music’.

The composer is organist at St John the Divine, Brooklands Sale, and one imagines he is professionally and happily obliged (and able) to sometimes be trendy (and manages rather better than your publisher - see Newsletter).  You too now have the chance to enjoy his wit and inventiveness, and to share his enthusiasm for what for better description might be called a 'cross-over' style.


Daniel’s Half Dozen  (A/B) £10.00

Triumphal Trumpet - Folksy Flute - Corybantic Cornopean - Halcyon Hautbois - Cordial Cornet - Tutti Toccata  

These pieces were written for the composer’s son when he began to learn the organ, having mastered the piano to grade 3. This is a suite of a short set of pieces introducing some of the main colours of the organ. Technical difficulty particularly in the pedals is restricted, whilst at the same time the writing is attractive and exciting. The movements are varied in tempo, texture and style and would be particularly suitable for Weddings or Recital use on any two manual instrument.


Lakeland Sketches

Three pieces (C+) £10.00

Prelude: Tarn Hows – Pastorale: Coniston Old Man – Fughetta: Hawkshead

These 3 pieces were composed for a recital given in July 2004 as part of the 37th Season of “Music for a Summer Evening at Hawkshead” held in the delightful Parish Church. The pieces are a highly poetic attempt to capture the flavour of the Lakeland scenery and people.


March ‘Escafeld’  (C) £6.00

'Escafeld’ is the ancient name for Sheffield, and this ‘pomp and circumstance’ style march celebrates that northern city’s exuberant atmosphere.


Norfolk Folksong Suite Five pieces £8.50


This suite of folksong arrangements was written in 2002 for a series of recitals given in Norfolk in the summer of that year.  It was an immediate success.  The tunes were selected in consultation with the noted authority Alan Waller.  There is a Grainger-like vigour to these settings which is highly stimulating, and there is no doubt that this work would be very effective in a recital.


Seven Folk Song Fancies: A Tribute to Harry Cox  (B/C) £10.00

(For Organ manuals only, or piano)

Conceived in honour of one of Norfolk’s most celebrated folk singers these sparkling movements based on traditional tunes are a real delight; this is especially true of the concluding Toccata where Percy Grainger may be seen to shake hands with John Adams, in a splendid perpetuum mobile.


Nine Lessons on a Carol (C) £10.00


The carol is the ‘Song of the Nuns of Chester’ and the piece consists of the Theme, Introit, 9 Variations (following the Christmas Story) and Sortie. It made considerable impact at it’s first performance given by Philip in Sheffield Cathedral. There is ten minutes of good music and good fun here.

Cadfael  (C/D) £12.00

The Confession of Brother Haluinn - The Raven in the Foregate - One Corpse too many - The Virgin in the Ice - St Peter’s Fair

This work is based on the titles of the Cadfael books by kind permission of Brother Cadfael Products. Brother Cadfael is the fictional main character in a series of historical murder mysteries written by the linguist-scholar Edith Pargeter under the name "Ellis Peters". The character of Cadfael himself is a Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey, in western England, in the first half of the 12th century.
The work is largely based on original melodies of the 12th and 13th centuries reworked in a contemporary musical idiom. A persistent feature is the use of an idée fixe based on the letters of the names CADFAEL. Philip has given many successful performances of this suite, though individual movements may be used as voluntaries.

Toccata, Adagio and Fugue on Christmas Themes (C/D) £10.00


This piece takes as its starting point Bach’s supreme Toccata, Adagio and Fugue. The chorale Vom Himmel Hoch is central to the entire work but, as though in a meeting of the United Nations, other familiar Christmas tunes from around the world put in more or less recognisable appearances. This piece will make a highly entertaining contribution to a December recital.

Brooklands Epiphany Carols  (B+)  £7.50
5 copies and more £6.00each
(Items are available separately - please ask for a quotation)

O Magnum Mysterium - a Babe has been born - The Camel’s Carol - A Mystery - John the Baptist - Journey’s Ending - Shall I still be as sure? - The King of the Jews.

The composer says ‘These carols were specifically written for the choir of St John’s, Brooklands, Sale. The eclectic range of styles included in the carols is intended to make them appealing to all age groups. Some are specifically aimed at younger members, making use of riffs and jazzy rhythms. It was also the intention to try to keep the level of difficulty within the range of the average church choir, which is why there is a men’s part as opposed to separate tenor and bass parts. The texts have been kindly written by four members of our congregation.’ The ‘Camels’ Carol’ is particularly worthy of attention.

Adlington Suite
(manuals, optional pedal)
 (B/C) Overture - Aria - Siciliano - Minuet - Allemande - Courente
Overture only

This fine music is clearly cast in the form of a Baroque suite, and is a splendid tribute to one of the UK’s most famous organs. The flamboyant ‘Overture’ can stand on its own, and the other movements can also be played separately.
The composer says: ‘This piece is suitable for any keyboard instrument. When performed on the organ, players with smaller hands may use the pedals.
‘The piece was composed for our annual visit to play the 1693 Father Smith (?) organ located in Adlington Hall Cheshire, some 7 or 8 miles from Stockport. The work is based on "The Hunting Song" with words by Charles Legh (owner of the hall at that time) set to music by Handel in 1751 (the theme is quoted as Mvt. II). Handel seems to have stayed at Adlington Hall on several occasions and is believed to have composed "The Harmonious Blacksmith" on the organ there.’

The Magi
(Fantasy on Epiphany carols)
 (B/C) The Wise Men follow the Star - The Star - Meeting with Herod - Mary and the baby (Lullaby) - The Wise Men offer their Gifts - The Warning - Rejoicing. £12.00
Offering and Finale for Epiphany Sunday (B/C) (Movements 5 and 7 of the above) £6.00

Philip’s note below details the provenance of this work. For those who are unable to take up the whole, the ‘Offering and Finale’ will make a particularly useful and valuable pairing.

The composer says: ‘After the hype of Christmas, it is easy to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done and pack the Christmas organ music away for another year. This is a pity because the story is not complete without the arrival of the Wise Men on Epiphany Sunday.
‘In this little collection of pieces we accompany the Wise Men on their often difficult and dangerous journey, and share with them the wonder and joy of seeing the new-born Christ. Many well known Epiphany hymns and carols are to be found more or less hidden in this music; much of this is in a neo-baroque style which I hope will be enjoyable and accessible to a wide range of listeners.
‘The pieces may be performed as a continuous set or individually at suitable points in an Epiphany Service. They could even be combined with a performance of some or all of the Brookland's Epiphany Carols for choir and organ which also published by Fagus-music.com.’

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Last updated: 05 January 2020