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The Power of Robert Simpson – A Biography
Robert Simpson, Composer: Essays, Interviews, Recollections

Chronological List of Compositions

The authoritative source of this information is »Robert Simpson, Composer« ed. J. Schaarwächter pp 529–548: Catalogue of Works.

The publishers of each work (where known) are indicated to the right of the compositions in square brackets and link to the publisher’s contact details. The disc icons recording link to recording details of the work in the discography.

For convenient navigation, this list is divided into decades:
1940-49, 1950-59, 1960-69, 1970-79, 1980-89, 1990-97, date unknown

1940-49

  • Trocknet nicht, Tränen solo song (1942)
  • String Quartet in D (1945)
    Simpson’s B.Mus examination exercise
  • The Cherry Tree song for high voice and piano (1946?)
  • Piano Sonata (1946) 22′ [Lengnick] Recorded August 1995: Raymond Clarke, piano
  • Variations and Finale on a theme of Haydn for piano (1948) 22′ [Lengnick] Recorded August 1995: Raymond Clarke, piano
    (from Minuet from Symphony in G, Hob. 1:47)

1950-59

  • Symphony No. 1 (1951) 26′ [Lengnick] Recorded January 1956:  London Philharmonic Orchestra , conductor Sir Adrian Boult Recorded July 1996:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
  • String Quartet No. 1 (1951–52) 25′ [Lengnick] Recorded 1953-4:  Element String Quartet  (Ernest Element and Sylvia Cleaver, violins; Dorothy Hemming, viola; Norman Jones, cello) Recorded August 1971: The  Aeolian String Quartet  (Sydney Humphreys and Raymond Keenlyside, violins; Margaret Major, viola; Derek Simpson, cello);  Bernard Walton , clarinet Recorded February 1990: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1953) 15′ [Lengnick] Recorded 1953-4:  Element String Quartet  (Ernest Element and Sylvia Cleaver, violins; Dorothy Hemming, viola; Norman Jones, cello) Recorded October 1989: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello)
  • String Quartet No. 3 (1953–54) 20′ [Lengnick] Recorded 1953-4:  Element String Quartet  (Ernest Element and Sylvia Cleaver, violins; Dorothy Hemming, viola; Norman Jones, cello) Recorded July 1989: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello)
  • Allegro Deciso for string orchestra (1954) 11′ [Lengnick]
    (arr. of second and final movements of String Quartet No. 3
  • Symphony No. 2 (1955–56) 30′ [Lengnick] Recorded July 1992:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
  • Canzona for brass band (1958) 5′ [Lengnick] Recorded 1977: The  Locke Brass Consort , conductor James Stobart Recorded 6 May 1994:  Kensington Symphonic Brass , conductor Russell Keable Recorded 1997-8: Iain Quinn, organ; Corydon Singers; Corydon Brass Ensemble, conductor Matthew Best Recorded April 2004: Cambridge University Brass Ensemble, conductor Philip Walsh
  • Violin Concerto (1957–59) 41′
    (withdrawn by the composer)
  • Variations and Fugue for recorder and string quartet (1959) 13′ Recorded December 2000: John Turner, recorder; the  Camerata Ensemble  (Richard Howarth and Julia Hanson, violin; Tom Dunn, viola; Jonathan Price, cello)
    (this piece, thought lost, was reconstructed in 2000 from parts found in the Dolmetsch Archive by John B. Turner)

1960-69

  • Symphony No. 3 (1961–62) 32′ [Lengnick] Recorded 1971 (Quintet), 1970 (Symphony): The  Aeolian String Quartet  (Sydney Humphreys and Raymond Keenlyside, violins; Margaret Major, viola; Derek Simpson, cello);  Bernard Walton , clarinet;  London Symphony Orchestra , conductor Jascha Horenstein Recorded May 1994:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
  • Incidental music to Ibsen’s play The Pretenders for wind and percussion (1965)
  • Trio for clarinet, cello and piano (1967) 24′ [Lengnick]
  • Piano Concerto (1967) 21′ [Lengnick] Recorded 1967:  John Ogdon , piano;  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra , conductor Constantin Silverstri
  • Clarinet Quintet for clarinet and string quartet (1968) 32′ [Lengnick] Recorded August 1971: The  Aeolian String Quartet  (Sydney Humphreys and Raymond Keenlyside, violins; Margaret Major, viola; Derek Simpson, cello);  Bernard Walton , clarinet Recorded February 1997: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello);  Thea King , clarinet; Christopher van Kampen, cello Recorded 1971 (Quintet), 1970 (Symphony): The  Aeolian String Quartet  (Sydney Humphreys and Raymond Keenlyside, violins; Margaret Major, viola; Derek Simpson, cello);  Bernard Walton , clarinet;  London Symphony Orchestra , conductor Jascha Horenstein

1970-79

  • Energy: Symphonic Study for brass band (1971) 10′ [Boosey & Hawkes] Recorded 1972: The  G.U.S. (Footwear) Band , conductor Stanley Boddington Recorded August 1990: The  Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band , conductor James Watson Recorded February 1997:  Williams Fairey Band , conductor James Gourlay
  • Symphony No. 4 (1971–72, part-revised 1973) 53′, rev. 47′ [Lengnick] Recorded July 1992:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
    (possible further revision/restoration of slow movement – Stephen Johnson, Leading Notes, April 1998)
  • Symphony No. 5 (1972) 38′ [Lengnick] Recorded May 1994:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
  • String Quartet No. 4 (1973) 41′ [Lengnick] Recorded February 1990: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello)
  • String Quartet No. 5 (1974) 44′ [Lengnick] Recorded October 1989: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello)
  • Incidental music to Milton’s play Samson Agonistes for brass ensemble (1974)
  • String Quartet No. 6 (1975) 38′ [Lengnick] Recorded July 1989: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello)
  • Media morte in vita sumus motet for SATB chorus, brass and timpani (1975) [Lengnick] Recorded 1997-8: Iain Quinn, organ; Corydon Singers; Corydon Brass Ensemble, conductor Matthew Best
    (“In the midst of death we are surrounded by life!”)
  • Quartet for horn, violin, cello and piano (1976) 31′ [Lengnick] Recorded December 1993: Richard Watkins, horn; Pauline Lowbury, violin; Caroline Dearnley, cello; Christopher Green-Armitage, piano
  • Symphony No. 6 (1977) 30′ [Lengnick] Recorded September 1987:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
  • Symphony No. 7 (1977) 28′ [Faber] Recorded September 1987:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
  • String Quartet No. 7 (1977) 19′ [Lengnick] Recorded November 1983: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and Jeremy Williams, violins; John Underwood, viola; Stephen Orton, cello)
  • String Quartet No. 8 (1979) 31′ [Faber] Recorded November 1983: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and Jeremy Williams, violins; John Underwood, viola; Stephen Orton, cello)
  • Volcano: Symphonic Study for brass band (1979) 12′ [Winwood] Recorded 1979: The  John Foster Black Dyke Mills Band , conductor Major Peter Parkes Recorded August 1990: The  Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band , conductor James Watson

1980-89

  • Sonata for two pianos (1980, rev. 1990) 26′ [Lengnick]
  • Symphony No. 8 (1981) 42′ [Faber] Recorded July 1996:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
  • Quintet for clarinet, bass clarinet, 3 double-basses or string trio (1981) 17′ [Lengnick] Recorded August 1992: The  Vanbrugh Quartet  (Gregory Ellis, violin (Quartets only); Elizabeth Charleson, violin; Simon Aspell, viola; Christopher Marwood, cello);  Joy Farrall , clarinet; Fiona Cross, bass clarinet
  • String Quartet No. 9 (1982) 56′ [Faber] Recorded March 1984: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello)
    (32 Variations and Fugue on a theme by Haydn)
  • The Four Temperaments: Suite for brass band (1982) 22′ [Winwood] Recorded August 1990: The  Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band , conductor James Watson Recorded 31 March 1995:  Kensington Symphonic Brass , conductor Russell Keable
    (version for orchestral brass lost)
  • Variations on a theme of Carl Nielsen for orchestra (1983) 26′ [Lengnick] Recorded December 2003:  City of London Sinfonia , conductor  Matthew Taylor
    (from incidental music to Ebbe Skammelsen)
  • String Quartet No. 10 ‘For Peace’ (1983) 27′ [Roberton] Recorded June 1986: The  Coull Quartet  (Roger Coull and Philip Gallaway, violins; David Curtis, viola; John Todd, cello)
  • String Quartet No. 11 (1984) 25′ [Lengnick] Recorded June 1986: The  Coull Quartet  (Roger Coull and Philip Gallaway, violins; David Curtis, viola; John Todd, cello)
  • Trio for horn, violin and piano (1984) 18′ Recorded December 1993: Richard Watkins, horn; Pauline Lowbury, violin; Caroline Dearnley, cello; Christopher Green-Armitage, piano
  • Violin Sonata (1984) 27′ [Lengnick] Recorded December 1993: Pauline Lowbury, violin; Christopher Green-Armitage, piano (Sonata); Ursula Smith, cello;  Elizabeth Burley, Piano (Trio)
  • Michael Tippett, his mystery for piano (1984) 1′30 Recorded August 1995: Raymond Clarke, piano
    [published in "Michael Tippett, O.M.: A Celebration", Edited by Geraint Lewis (1985, ISBN 9780859361408)]
  • Eppur si muove Ricercar e Passacaglia for organ (1985) 31′ [Lengnick] Recorded 1997-8: Iain Quinn, organ; Corydon Singers; Corydon Brass Ensemble, conductor Matthew Best
  • Symphony No. 9 (1985-87) 50′ [Faber] Recorded February 1988:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
  • String Quartet No. 12 (1987) 31′ [Lengnick] Recorded May 1991: The  Coull Quartet  (Roger Coull and Philip Gallaway, violins; David Curtis, viola; John Todd, cello); Roger Bigley, viola
  • String Trio Prelude, Adagio and Fugue (1987) 14′ [Lengnick] Recorded July 1989: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello)
  • String Quintet No. 1 for string quartet, viola (1987) 34′ [Lengnick] Recorded May 1991: The  Coull Quartet  (Roger Coull and Philip Gallaway, violins; David Curtis, viola; John Todd, cello); Roger Bigley, viola
  • Tempi for unaccompanied SATB chorus (1987) 17′30 [Roberton] Recorded 1997-8: Iain Quinn, organ; Corydon Singers; Corydon Brass Ensemble, conductor Matthew Best
  • Introduction and Allegro on a bass by Max Reger for brass band (1986–87) 16′ [Winwood] Recorded August 1990: The  Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band , conductor James Watson
    (from fugue of Fantasia and Fugue in D minor)
  • Symphony No. 10 (1988) 51′ [Lengnick] Recorded February 1991:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra , conductor  Vernon Handley
  • Piano Trio for violin, cello and piano (1988-89) 38′ [Lengnick] Recorded December 1993: Pauline Lowbury, violin; Christopher Green-Armitage, piano (Sonata); Ursula Smith, cello;  Elizabeth Burley, Piano (Trio)
  • Flute Concerto (1989) 29′ [Winwood]
  • String Quartet No. 13 (1989) 18′ [Lengnick] Recorded February 1997: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello);  Thea King , clarinet; Christopher van Kampen, cello
  • Brass Quintet for 2 trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba (1989) 17′ [Winwood]
  • Vortex for brass band (1989) 9′ [Winwood] Recorded August 1990: The  Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band , conductor James Watson

1990-97

  • Symphony No. 11 (1990) 29′ [Lengnick] Recorded December 2003:  City of London Sinfonia , conductor  Matthew Taylor
  • String Quartet No. 14 (1990) 30′ [Lengnick] Recorded August 1992: The  Vanbrugh Quartet  (Gregory Ellis, violin (Quartets only); Elizabeth Charleson, violin; Simon Aspell, viola; Christopher Marwood, cello);  Joy Farrall , clarinet; Fiona Cross, bass clarinet
  • Variations and Finale on a theme by Beethoven for piano (1990) 18′ [Lengnick] Recorded August 1995: Raymond Clarke, piano
    (from Bagatelle in G minor, WoO 61a)
  • Cello Concerto (1991) 23′ [Lengnick]
  • Variations and Fugue on a theme of J. S. Bach for strings (1991) 27′
    (from Sarabande from Fifth Cello Suite)
  • String Quartet No. 15 (1991) 18′ [Lengnick] Recorded August 1992: The  Vanbrugh Quartet  (Gregory Ellis, violin (Quartets only); Elizabeth Charleson, violin; Simon Aspell, viola; Christopher Marwood, cello);  Joy Farrall , clarinet; Fiona Cross, bass clarinet
  • String Quintet No. 2 for string quartet, cello (1991–95) 15′ Recorded February 1997: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello);  Thea King , clarinet; Christopher van Kampen, cello
  • String Quartet No. 16 (1996–)
    (unfinished)

Date unknown

  • Double Concerto for cello, piano and orchestra
    (unfinished; discovered in Simpson's papers after his death by Graham Melville-Mason – Dick Edwards, Leading Notes, December 1998)
  • Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV1080, Contrapunctus I–XIV for string quartet 75′ Recorded November 1999: The  Delmé Quartet  (Galina Solodchin and John Trusler, violins; John Underwood, viola; Jonathan Williams, cello)
  • Transcription of Comotio, Op. 58 by Nielsen arr. for piano, four hands 21′