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Will Todd

Will Todd was born and brought up in the North East of England and many of his works reflect the close feelings he retains for the region. The Burning Road (1996) is an oratorio inspired by the 1936 Jarrow March and tells the story of the 200 men who courageously journeyed to London in protest against unemployment. Following several successful performances The Burning Road was released on Silva Classics in 1999. Saint Cuthbert (1995), another large choral work, focuses on the life of Cuthbert, the great Northumbrian saint who is buried in Durham Cathedral. This work has also had a number of successful performances and is being recorded next year. Will Todd’s musical work frequently takes him back to the North east. In 1997 he was commissioned by Lemington Male Voice Choir to write another work with a local theme, The Ballad of Will Jobling, which is also being developed into a full scale opera later this year, and in 1994 he was commissioned by Durham Youth Musical Theatre to write a musical Box of Tricks.

Will Todd’s music has also been performed all over Britain and major works include: Oratorios Midwinter (1992), A Song of Creation (1999), an opera Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1993), concertos for Saxophone (1991) and Violin (1996), the musicals Daniel and The Pride of Kings (1998) and Between Love and Passion (I999), a children’s opera Tales From The End of Northworld (1999), choral works The Sacred Three (1997), Gloria (1997), Magnificat (1996), In Praise of Trees (1998), and most recently a new musical theatre work The Screams of Kitty Genovese which receives its first full production in the US in August.

Will Todd’s association with York goes back to 1993 when he was invited to compose music for York Music Centre. Between 1993 and 1996 Will Todd completed 7 commissions for the music centre, including English Folk Suite for Young Orchestra, Fanfare, Theme and Dance and Yorkshire Dance.

Will Todd is married and lives in London where he works full time as a composer.

Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra

Op. 26

The Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra was commissioned by York Symphony Orchestra and written for soloist Alastair Long in January 2000. The work is in 5 movements.

Make-Believe – Allegretto poco allegro. This movement sets up the essential antithesis between soloist and orchestra. The music has frequent stops and starts and the ‘yearning’ trumpet melodies continuously lead and weave the music in different directions. It is like a children’s game…
Love Song – Adagio. Here the simple beauty of the central melody (first heard on the trumpet) has a dreamlike quality which soothes us like a lullaby…
Soliloquy – Recitativo. This movement focuses strongly on the soloist with minimal accompaniment from only the strings of the orchestra. The material is based on the theme of the final movement’Abide With Me’. It is the first indications of what is to come…
Puppets – Scherzo. This humorous up-tempo movement is a miniature ballet. Puppets fight and posture as the music dances forwards with happy and witty energy…
Epilogue (on the theme Abide With Me) – Lento Maestoso. The grand elegance of the original hymn tune is used here in a simple variation form in which the theme is contrasted with darker and more foreboding material. This is the fear we feel as we move towards sleep and we sense the darkness gathering about us. The final moments of the concerto however bring us back to the light with a final, glittering presentation of Abide With Me.

© Copyright 2000 by Will Todd

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