Home Catalogue Ordering Submission

  Philip Wilby


Philip Wilby is one of the foremost composers of church music today.  All of the items listed are worthy of close attention.  The two anthems listed here have been recorded on a fine CD 'Heaven in Ordinarie' by the Exon Singers under Matthew Owens (Regent REGCD338)

List of Compositions

Thou didst delight mine eyes (B-C)
SATB and divisions and organ
£3.00 each -min. order 10 copies
A Prayer for St Thomas ((B)
SATB and divisions and organ
£3.00 each -min. order 10 copies
A Galilee Mass (B)
Choir (with short solos) congregation and organ
£3.00 each -min.order 10 copies
Congregational part (on card) 50p


This is wonderful stuff and we are proud to feature these pieces in our lists.  The Mass is eminently suitable for parish church use.




For the Iron Voice (for Organ)  (D)


'Like Thunder, a Voice of Iron assails our ears, driving out every other sound.' Wulstan 990 AD

These three short pieces take as their springboard the much-quoted description of the huge organ of Winchester Cathedral by the 10th Century monk Wulstan. Philip writes ‘
My three pieces offer listeners some of the grand and colourful contrasts for which the modern organ is most renowned. They are ‘Gothic’, a turbulent movement which counterpoints towering climaxes with mechanical textures and coloristic effects. ‘Pensiero’, which as its name suggests, is thoughtful and introspective, using the pedal division to play a high line on a solo stop. The suite ends with a ‘Moto Perpetuo’, as enjoyable to hear as it is difficult to play, and catching something of Wulstan’s original statement, ‘Like thunder, driving out every other sound.’
Originally written in 2004 for Graham Barber and the Armley Schulze Organ, this present edition has been prepared for Paul Walton to play during BBC Choral Evensong Broadcast on March 21 2012 from Bristol Cathedral.
Prof. Wilby is one of the foremost composers of (inter alia) organ and choral music, and this organ work, while not for the timid (player or listener) is absolutely stunning. Wow!



Bristol Responses  (B)
SATB (minor divisions) unaccompanied


Philip is in ‘parish choir mode’ here, so these well-written sentences will be found approachable and rewarding.

Recessional on a Wesleyan Hymn (‘Sagina’) (B/C)
SATB (minor divisions) unaccompanied


From January 2007 to July of this year Philip and his wife Wendy lived in Bristol where she served in the Cathedral as Canon Precentor. They have now returned to Yorkshire This imposing Postlude was written as a surprise present for her final service.



Organ Hours (D) £12.00


Contrapuntal Exercises after the Medieval Clock of  Wells Cathedral  


The composer writes: 'The Great Clock of Wells Cathedral, which is one of the oldest in England, has been delighting passers-by since 1390. Thus, when the cathedral's  organist Matthew Owens asked me to compose a set of short fugues for his new House Organ in 2017, I turned to the medieval clock and its many historical features to provide a framework for my small collection of contrapuntal exercises.'  


Though written with a house organ in mind these splendid pieces, which are dramatic and imaginative by turns  can be played with advantage on any size of organ.  



The Wells Service (D)
(ATB Div, and organ)



This elaborate setting of the Evening Canticles was written for the Vicars Choral of Wells Cathedral and their Conductor Matthew Owens. It is exciting and good fun all round.



Ripon Misericords (C/D)



We are privileged to be asked to publish this major work, by a fine composer. The carving of Ripon Cathedral’s Misericords was started shortly after the Wars of the Roses in 1489 and took some five years to complete. Renowned for their detail and humour, they are arranged in two sets, where salvation on the north side is counterpointed by temptation on the south. The whole structure is surrounded by a magnificent choir of angels clustering around the choir canopy. Unlike those of many other Northern Cathedrals they have remained largely undamaged,and represent one the earliest complete sets in England.
In 2019, one of the angels became detached, and it was decided that the whole set should be restored to its former glory. These organ miniatures seek to highlight that restoration with a sequence of musical portraits accompanied by small explanatory texts, and each dedicated to an individual organist. The set concludes with a set of Variations on Henry Tudor’s favourite song ‘The Western Wynde’. There is an optional part for a narrator.






Philip’s preface reads: 'ARC' - the term offers a variety of meanings, all of which involve an incomplete part of a circle or curved line. Correspondingly, there is an association with architecture, and with arches, whose repeating forms are often seen from a particular vantage point and form the basis of the perspective studies of Renaissance artists. In my own case, this recital piece combines both of these features, involving repetitions, symmetrical and retrograde sections in the earlier sections of the music. These shorter movements finally develop into an extended finale, embracing a larger musical perspective before returning to the opening Toccata material, and a brilliant conclusion. Dedicated to and premièred by Margaret Phillips for her recital in York Minster on 11 August 2022, the score allows the performer ample scope to explore the majestic acoustic of the cathedral, and its famous gothic arches.

The work has been commissioned with the financial support of the Champniss Foundation to commemorate the life of Alfred Champniss (1933-2022).



Home Catalogue Ordering Submission

Last updated: 01 October 2022