Paul Alan Barker, Composer

Orchestral

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Loplop Dances
Suite for Strings
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Three Songs for Sylvia
The Voyage The Visions of Winckelmann
Harlequin Concerto
Fantasy on Four Notes
Loplop Dances (2004)
Large-scale, exhuberant orchestral show-piece
Orcehstration of version for 2 pianos
3.3.3.3/3.3.3.1/2 hp./strings, ca 20 minutes
Suite for Strings: La Malinche  (1995)
Commissioned and Premiered by
London Mozart Players, cond. David Drummond.
Strings: 8.6.4.4.2 Ca: 14 mins
Paraphrase from sections of the opera
Three Songs for Sylvia (1994)
Commissioned by London Festival Orchestra with funds from Southern Arts. Premiere Bristol Cathedral, 1.7.94, Sarah Leonard, cond Ross Pople Recorded & broadcast on Classic FM
Further performances with Ann Liebeck Poems by Sylvia Plath, ca 17 mins, sop & strings (5/4/2/2/1); piano & voice available.
But the highlight of the evening was her (Ann Liebeck) rendering of Three Songs for Sylvia. She captured beautifully the moments of high drama, passion, lyricism and sinister apprehension in the settings of these poems in a free recitative style. There were grand melodic leaps by both soloist and orchestra and some fine harmonic effects from the strings. These were gripping works, over all too soon. Oxford Times
This modern work, inspired by a radio play written by the poet Sylvia Plath and entitled Three Women, was absolutely delightful. Had the orchestra included this in its vast repertoire of recordings, I would certainly be going out of my way to purchase a copy as soon as possible. Oxford Mail
Avant-garde composers would have us believe that they are perfectly capable of writing mainstream pieces when they want to. There is one at least who can, as was illustrated by last night's performance of "Three Songs for Sylvia" at Southwell...There were ecstatic melismas for the singer within an elegantly flowing vocal line, the thoughts and feelings expressed were taken up and crystallised in glorious writing for the strings.
Nottingham Evening Post

One: A Great Event

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Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1996)
Premiere 17.2.96, Tasmin Little and London Mozart Players, cond. Matthias Bamert. Commissioned with funds from ACE and LAB. Solo violin, 2.2.2.2.//2.2.0.0./1 perc/8.6.6.4.2.
Ca. 20 mins
......memorable, with prominent parts not only for the soloist but also for the orchestra,s leader and, believe it or not - the bass drum. The new concerto has a fine onward flow and is a solidly crafted piece. Composer Paul Barker.... returned to a well-deserved ovation from the packed hall.
Newmarket Weekly News

Hear opening of Concerto for Violin

Composer Paul Barker.... returned to a well-deserved ovation from the packed hall. The concerto is straightforwardly constructed and in many places memorable, with prominent parts not only for the soloist but also for the orchestra’s leader and, believe it or not - the bass drum. The drum on show seemed big enough o drive a tube train through, and was exploited to great effect – not just for the volume of sound, but quality of it. The new concerto has a fine onward flow and is a solidly crafted piece, the soloist trying to join he two halves of the orchestra that the bass drum tries to set asunder – and eventually more or less succeeding. Newmarket Weekly News, 29.2.96

Harlequin Concerto  (1980-86)
Premiere 19.3.88, Nicholas Daniel and Stravinsky Players.
solo oboe, strings, harp, perc, pno/celeste.
Oboe & Piano version available.
Ca 20 mins

Hear opening of Harlequin Concerto

The Visions of Winckelmann  (1986-9)
Showpiece for Chamber Orchestra
1.1.1.1:1.1.1.1;1111, harpsichord, ca 20 mins.

Fantasy on Four Notes (1978)
Barker’s Fantasy on Four Notes, which won a Royal Philharmonic Prize in 1978, made an intriguing starter, particularly the first of the two movements in which the composer really does limit himself to four notes for five, well-packed minutes, exuberancy making up for lack of variety in pitch with every device in the book. The Guardian, Feb 28, 1981

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