The Music of Brian Chapple

Another new work composed specially for Anne and Geoffrey is by the British composer Brian Chapple. Educated at Highgate School, he studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Lennox Berkeley and Harry Isaacs.

Brian has written a wide variety of music, from sacred choral to educational, as well as instrumental and orchestral music. Early successes include Green and Pleasant (winner, Monarchy 1000 Prize, Bath 1972) and Scherzos for four pianos (premiered Proms 1976, one of the pianists being Richard Rodney Bennett). Commissions and premieres by the London Sinfonietta, London Mozart Players and BBC Singers, New London Orchestra, and St Paul’s Cathedral followed. Other works include Burlesque (for two pianos, eight hands) and Assorted Bagatelles for solo piano. His music has been performed and broadcast around the world, and won many accolades.

The first ‘incarnation’ of A Bit of a Blow was as a suite for Saxophone Quartet (in 1996.), then for Clarinet and Piano, Saxophone and Piano, Trombone and Piano. This Piano Duet version (four of the original five movements) was made for Anne and Geoffrey in 2005 and is dedicated to them.

The première of A Bit of a Blow, in jazz style, was given by Anne & Geoffrey at Wells in July 2006 when Brian, who lives in Devon, was in the audience (the programme also included the suite Skip & Sadie by Richard Rodney Bennett who had performed in Brian’s Scherzos at the Proms). It was also included in their recital at Benslow in October that year on the 10th day of the 10th month marking their 10th course at Benslow Music Trust.