Catalogue

ORCHESTRAL  (with or without soloists)

THE SHOSTAKOVICH CONNECTION (1974) 15′


4.3.3.Tenor Sax.3.   4.4.3.1.
Timps Perc(3) Harp Celeste Strings
Commissioned by Glasgow Orchestral Society
Premiere: 12 December 1974, City Hall, Glasgow
Glasgow Orchestral Society conducted by John McLeod
‘Generates excitement – an orchestral tour de force’  
The Guardian

LE TOMBEAU DE POULENC (1974) 10′
for solo flute, harp and strings
Premiere: 25 March 1981, Music Hall, Aberdeen,
Richard Chester (flute), Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by John McLeod

LIEDER DER JUGEND (1978) 18′
The Guinness Prize for British Composers 1979
Symphonic song-cycle for tenor and orchestra
German texts taken from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
3.3.4.3.   4.3.3.1.
Timps Perc(4) Harp Celeste/Piano Strings
Commissioned by Lothian Regional Council
Premiere: 15 March 1978, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Raimund Gilvan (tenor), Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by John McLeod
‘Lieder der Jugend has an impressive depth of feeling and a beguiling harmonic warmth wedded to a beautifully flexible vocal line and a thoroughly idiomatic compositional response to the rhythms and cadences of German’
 The Musical Times
‘Here McLeod unleashes his broadest, most powerful orchestral utterance’
 The Scotsman

THE SEASONS OF DR ZHIVAGO (1982) 35′
Symphonic song-cycle for baritone and orchestra
Poems by Boris Pasternak translated into English by Max Hayward and Manya Harari
3.3.3.3.   4.3.3.1.
Timps Perc(4) Harp Celeste/Piano Strings
Commissioned by Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Premiere: 2 April 1982, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Benjamin Luxon (baritone), Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by John McLeod
‘A work of profound and passionate seriousness’  
The Musical Times

THE GOKSTAD SHIP (1982) 17′
3.3.3.3.   4.4.3.1.
Timps Perc(5) Harp Celeste Strings
Commissioned by National Youth Orchestra of Scotland
Premiere: 30 July 1982, Kirkwall, Orkney
National Youth Orchestra of Scotland conducted by Nicholas Braithwaite
‘Music with inspiration and power which overwhelmed the audience’
 Gothenburg Post (Sweden)

HEBRIDEAN DANCES (1982) 7′
2.2.2.2. 2.2.0.0.
Timps Perc(2) Harp Strings
Commissioned by Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Premiere: 15 December 1982, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Roderick Brydon

THE WHISPERED NAME (1986) 18′
Song-cycle for soprano, harp and strings
Poems by AI-Khansa, Marguerite de Navarre, Emily Bronte, Edith Sitwell and Gabriela Mistral
Premiere: 27 February 1986, BBC Studio 1, Glasgow
Jane Manning (soprano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by John McLeod
‘Marvellously evocative settings – songs of stratospheric virtuosity’

The Herald

PERCUSSION CONCERTO (1987) 26′
3.3.3.3.   4.4.3.1.
Timps(2) Perc(3) Harps(2) Celeste Strings
Solo Percussion: Timps, Side Drum, Cymbal, Marimba, 5 Temple Blocks, 5 Tom Toms, 3 Cow Bells, Mark Tree, 3 Chinese Cymbals, Vibraphone, Crotales, 3 Gongs.
Commissioned by National Youth Orchestra of Scotland
Premiere: 21 July 1987, Nicolson Institute, Stornoway
Evelyn Glennie (percussion), National Youth Orchestra of Scotland,
conducted by John McLeod
‘Arresting music – splendidly structured’  
The Scotsman
‘Bartok-like figurations with their constantly shifting metres’  

The Daily Telegraph
‘Brought the audience to its feet – McLeod has created music of real diversity and breath-taking virtuosity’  Nashville Banner (American premiere)


PIANO CONCERTO (1988) 22′


2.2.2.2.   4.3.3.1. Timps Perc(3) Harp Strings
Commissioned by Perth Festival of the Arts
Premiere: 18 May 1988, City Hall, Perth
Peter Donohoe (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by George Hurst
‘McLeod has constructed a dramatic tour de force. The stark juxtaposition of materials hurtles the music forward with an almost numbing force’  The Herald
‘Lucidly structured and accessibly argued with strong, sharp textures’  The Scotsman

A DRAMATIC LANDSCAPE (1990) 9′


for solo clarinet and wind band
Commissioned by Orkney Islands Council
Premiere: 22 June 1990, Phoenix Cinema, Kirkwall, St Magnus Festival (Orkney)
Gillian Orr (clarinet), Orkney Schools Wind Band, conducted by Edgar Williams

MACHAR – Portrait of a Saint (2000) 15′
2.2.2.2.   2.2.2.0.
Timps   Perc(3)   Harp   Strings
Commissioned by Aberdeen Sinfonietta
Premiere:   16 September 2000, Music Hall, Aberdeen
Aberdeen Sinfonietta conducted by Roger Williams
‘Wonderful music, splendidly written for the orchestra.’
Press and Journal

THE SUN DANCES (2000)  12′
2+Picc/Alto.2+CA.2+Bass.2+Contra 4.2.3.1.
Timps  Perc(4)   Harp   Piano/Celeste   Strings
Commissioned by National Youth Orchestra of Scotland
Premiere:  3 January 2001, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
National Youth Orchestra of Scotland conducted by Takuo Yuasa
‘A  palette of textures that cover lush, Ravel-like sonorities and the spiky rhythms of a propulsive dance.  A beautiful and exciting piece.‘ The Herald

SYMPHONIES OF STONE AND WATER (2000) 27′
for solo piano, 3 saxophones, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones and percussion
Commissioned by Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust (ECAT)
Premiere:   12 February 2001, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Ananda Sukarlan (piano) and ECAT Ensemble conducted by James Wood
‘The voice of a composer at the height of his craft speaking lucidly.’ The Scotsman 
‘McLeod’s beautifully structured nine-movement piece . . . some of the most magical effects ever produced by this prolific composer.’ 
The Herald

CLARINET CONCERTO (2005) 20′


Strings Timpani 2 Percussion
Commissioned by Linda Merrick
Premiere: 27 November 2005, Perth Concert Hall
Linda Merrick (clarinet) and Perth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Allan Young

FLING (2007)  13′
3.3.3.3.  4.3.3.1
Timps  Perc(4)  Harp Strings
Commissioned by BBC Radio 3
Premiere: 24 March 2007, Aviemore Highland Resort
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Highland Region Youth Orchestra
conducted by Clark Rundell
‘Its constantly shifting structure evoked the short, sharp, highly energetic attributes of its title. The exuberant momentum of this colourful piece never flagged.’The Scotsman


GUITAR CONCERTO (2009) 25′




Nominated for a British Composer Award 2010
2.2.2.2. 2.2.0.0.
Timps/Perc(1) Strings
Commissioned by 3 orchestras from ‘Making Music’
Premiere: 20 March 2010, Nicolson Square Methodist Church, Edinburgh
Ian Watt (guitar), New Edinburgh Orchestra conducted by Tim Paxton

CHORAL

A LITTLE MASS FOR SAINT CUTHBERT (1977) 10′
SATB choir and organ
Commissioned by St Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh
Premiere: 10 April 1977, St Cuthbert’s Church
Choir of St Cuthbert’s Church conducted by Philip Sawyer

HEBRIDEAN PRAYERS (1979) 15′
Winner of the 1980 Radio Fourth Edinburgh Festival Fringe Prize
Texts taken from Carmina Gadelica translated by Alexander Carmichael
SATB choir, children’s choir, clarsach and organ
Commissioned by Scottish Chamber Choir
Premiere: 23 February 1980, St Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh
Scottish Chamber Choir conducted by Colin Tipple

STABAT MATER (1985) 45′
Latin text interspersed with poems by Al-Khansa, Marguerite de Navarre, Emily Bronte, Edith Sitwell and Anna Akhmatova
Soprano and baritone solos, 2 mixed choirs, children’s choir, boys’ choir (with treble soloist)
2.0.2.2.  4.2.3.0.
Timps Perc(2) Harp Organ Strings
Commissioned by Edinburgh Royal Choral Union
Premiere: 1 April 1986, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Jane Manning (soprano), Benjamin Luxon (baritone)
Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, Choirs from St Mary’s Music School, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral and Edinburgh Academy
Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by John McLeod
‘A work of powerful contrasts and a wide range of expression’
The Herald
‘McLeod enjoys effects of surprise and massive force, and he is endlessly inventive of contrasting textures, seductive choral harmony, the snarl of muted brass’ 
The Scotsman

SONGS FROM THE SMALL ZONE (1989) 20′
Poems by Irina Ratushinskaya translated into English by David McDuff
Solo soprano, chamber choir and piano
Commissioned by The John Currie Singers
Premiere: 5 March 1989, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
Irene Drummond (soprano), Peter Seivewright (piano), The John Currie Singers conducted by John Pryce-Jones
‘The poems speak of an enclosed world, of privation of suffering, of fear, and upon them McLeod has unleashed some of his most challenging composition and uncompromising inspiration. He has plunged beneath the surface of the poems, releasing the poignancy and the humanity which lie beneath the chilly and fierce upper layer of the texts. The work is powered by an accelerating momentum that is impossible to resist’
 The Herald

SEEDS IN THE WIND (1992) 25′
Poems in Scots by William Soutar
Solo soprano and children’s choir
1(+Picc).1(+CA).2.1.  2.2.1.0.
Timps Perc(2) Harp Strings
Commissioned by Haddo House Choral and Orchestral Society
Premiere: 9 May 1992, Haddo House, Aberdeenshire
Kathleen Livingstone (soprano), Haddo House Children’s Choir and Orchestra conducted by John McLeod

THE CHRONICLE OF SAINT MACHAR (1998) 45′
Text by John McLeod
Solo baritone, SATB choir and children’s choir
Strings Perc(2) Piano Organ
Commissioned by Aberdeen Bach Choir
Premiere: 25 April 1999, St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen
John Hearne (baritone), Aberdeen Bach Choir, Choir of Cults Academy, Aberdeen Sinfonietta conducted by James Lobban 
‘McLeod’s magnificent new cantata. Vivid vocal and instrumental colour. To the choir he gives the most glorious and resolute music. In short, it was a triumph’
 The Scotsman
‘Wonderful atmospheric music. In the orchestral writing the freshness of McLeod’s imagination really took off ‘
 The Herald

IMAGINED CORNERS (2010)  8′
Sonnet by John Donne
SATB choir, Brass Quintet, Organ
Commissioned by the Carlisle Festival
Premiere: 7 July 2010, Carlisle Cathedral
Carlisle Cathedral Choir, Fine Arts Brass, Edward Taylor (organ) directed by Jeremy Suter

INSTRUMENTAL and CHAMBER MUSIC

LE TOMBEAU DE POULENC (1963) 9′
for flute and piano

THE SONG OF PHRYNE (1974) 8′


for clarinet and piano (with pre-recorded tape)
Premiere: 2 June 1974, MacRobert Centre, University of Stirling
Keith Pearson (clarinet) and Edward Harper (piano) 
‘With its evocative tape of lazy female laughter and rolling surf, to which the clarinet responds with bubbling phrases of merriment, Messiaen-like bird-cries and the siren call from Bartok’s Miraculous Mandarin, it is that rare thing in any age – a genuinely sexy piece of music’
 The Musical Times

THE SONG OF ICARUS (1976) 8′
for violin and piano
Premiere: 19 February 1976, Concert Hall, University of Glasgow
Sam Bor (violin) and Roderick Brydon (piano)
‘Eloquent and finely wrought’ 
The Musical Times

THREE SIXTEENTH CENTURY SPANISH PIECES (1976) 9′
by Victoria, Cabezon and Guerrero
arranged for flute(+alto), oboe(+cor anglais), violin and cello
Premiere: 14 May 1976, Concert Hall, University of Glasgow
The Janglers conducted by John McLeod

THE SONG OF DIONYSIUS (1989) 15′
for percussion and piano
Premiere: 27 July 1989, Kensington Town Hall
(BBC Henry Wood Proms)
Evelyn Glennie (percussion) and Philip Smith (piano)
‘Forcefully energetic music, both imaginative and idiomatic’ 

The Times

FETES GALANTES (1991) 18′
Hommage a Couperin
for 2 violins, cello and harpsichord
Commissioned by The Kist of Musick
Premiere: 11 June 1991, The Canongate Church, Edinburgh
The Kist of Musick
‘Mcleod’s quartet is full of subtle textures and colours and well-crafted into seven miniature musical portraits’ 
The Scotsman

SMALL PLEASURES (1992) 12′
Variations on a theme of Benjamin Britten
for oboe, clarinet and bassoon
Commissioned by The London Wind Trio

RAINBOW (1996) 3’30”
In memory of Ida Carroll
for treble recorder and piano
Premiere: 3 February 1996, Royal Northern College of Music
John Turner (recorder) and John Wilson (piano)

THRASHING THE SEA GOD (1999) 20′
A little Chinese opera for solo percussion
Premiere: 18 February 2000, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Colin Currie (percussion)

A MOMENT IN TIME (2002) 15′


for violin, clarinet, cello and piano
Commissioned by The Hebrides Ensemble
Premiere: 16 May 2002, St mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow
John McLeod’s latest work is remarkable for the urgency and violence of its argument.  Silence is crowded out of the opening Metamorphosis by swathes of virtuosic writing, and the spectres of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and McLeod’s magnificent Third Piano Sonata stalk through the score . . . the Threnody, which draws the work to a close with exquisite tenderness, brings solace where there once was pain.’ The Daily Telegraph

‘Written around the time of September 11 last year, it is not surprisingly full of anger, driving forward movement and great slashes of sound. Passionate and effective, eventually the anger evaporates into a gentler lament which itself transforms into the mystical stillness of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.’  The Times
‘A moment in Time is a strong, fierce, ultimately haunting memorial to the events of September 11.’  The Herald

THREE INTERLUDES (2003) 6′
from the film Another Time, Another Place
Arranged for violin and piano by Margaret Murray McLeod

CHINESE WHISPERS (2005) 16′
Nominated for a British Composer Award 2005
for 2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba
Commissioned by Fine Arts Brass
Premiere: 12 March 2005, Stranraer Music Club
‘Inspired by a recent visit to China, it rejoiced in the composer’s experiences there and found a musical format for them which brilliantly exploited the the voices of the instruments and the personality of the players. Witty and imaginative music’. 
The Herald

QUICKSILVER (2009)  8′
for flute and piano
Premiere: 18 July 2009, Wigmore Hall, London,
Gillian Poznansky (flute) and Mark Tanner (piano)

THE SONG OF LEDA (2010) 15′


for cello and piano
Premiere: 27 April 2011, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Robin Michael (cello) and  Peter Evans (piano)

PIANO MUSIC

FOUR IMPROMPTUS (1960 rev 1998) 12′

HEBRIDEAN DANCES (1981) 7′

PIANO SONATA No. 1 (1978) 12′
Commissioned by Peter Evans
Premiere: 27 August 1978, Saltire Society, Edinburgh
Peter Evans (piano)
‘A relish in virtuosity and widely contrasted textures and sonorities’
 The Scotsman

PIANO SONATA NO.2 (1984) 15′
Commissioned by Bryn Turley
Premiere: 23 February 1984, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Bryn Turley (piano)

PIANO SONATA NO.3 (1995) 20′

Commissioned by Aberdeen University to mark its 500th anniversary
Premiere: 7 December 1995, Mitchell Hall, University of Aberdeen
Murray McLachlan (piano)
‘McLeod has fashioned a monumental edifice for his Third Piano Sonata – a massive structure with hugely dramatic momentum and a simmering intensity that bubbles, boils and erupts with volcanic force’
 The Herald

TWELVE PRELUDES (1984) 20′
Commissioned by Richard Orlando Thompson
Premiere: 30 September 1984, Purcell Room, London
Richard Orlando Thompson (piano)

THREE INTERLUDES (1997) 5′
from the film Another Time, Another Place

THREE PROTEST PIECES (1992 rev 1998) 7′
Premiere: 9 February 1999, Reld Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh
Murray McLachlan (piano)
‘There are flashes of angry modernism, but the expression, the unfolding in long, singing lines, are rooted in late Romanticism. It all emerges whole, and with considerable dark eloquence’ 
The Scotsman

BALINESE RITUALS (2003) 8′
1. Day of Sacrifice  2. Day of Silence
Commissioned by Ananda Sukarlan
Scottish Premiere: 15 March 2004, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Ananda Sukarlan (piano)

PIANO SONATA NO. 4  (2006) 18′
Commissioned by Sam Haywood
Premiere: 16 November 2006, Sound Festival, Mitchell Hall, University of Aberdeen
Sam Haywood (piano)
‘With Bartok-like stabbing chords and frenzied runs, Sam Haywood drove the first movement forward at full tilt. The more relaxed central movement had a certain opalescent glow about it before the fires flared up more brightly than ever in the Finale. There was so much going on in this music that it seemed to be over before one could draw breath. No chance of ever being bored by this music’. Alan Cooper (Critic’s Review)

HAFLIDI’S PICTURES (2009) 30′
– 12 Aphorisims based on drawings by Haflidi Hallgrimsson for narrator (optional) and piano
Commissioned by Mark Tanner
Premiere: 24 July 2008, Wigmore Hall, London
Mark Tanner (piano)
‘Highly attractive, highly listenable’ The Scotsman
‘The music is colourful and exciting, technically challenging and characterful . . . .
pithy, quirky miniatures’ Classical Music
‘The music has brittle, fractured energy and grim humour’International Record Review
(This work is published by Europa Edition Ltd.www.europaedition.com)

ORGAN

THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF POUSSIN (1992) 35′
Commissioned by Philip Sawyer
Premiere: 2 March 1992, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh
Philip Sawyer (organ)
‘McLeod presents chiming and meditative chords that are ruled by colour rather than structure, and his bursts of melody are mere rhythmic twitches, more like textures than tunes. These features resemble Messiaen, but the Scot’s music is colder, grimmer and greyer, more suggestive of Aberdeen than Avignon’ 
The Independent 
‘Overall, the work possessed a strong luminosity and spatial feel which gave the sensual tones of the organ room to breathe’ 
The Scotsman

THE KING’S TOCCATA  (2009) 6′
Premiere: 17 November 2009, King’s College Chapel, University of Aberdeen
Roger Williams (organ)

HARPSICHORD

SONATINA (1962) 8′
Premiere: 18 April 1975, St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh
Margaret Murray McLeod (harpsichord)
‘It has abundant rhythmic vitality and is beautifully conceived for the instrument’
 The Herald

MRS McLEOD’S HARPSICHORD BOOK
1. Mrs McLeod’s Rant
2. Herr Professor Gilvan’s Ground
3. Dr Havergal – his dream
4. Miss Lovell’s Lavolta
(a continuing series of pieces written for friends)

PARAPHRASE ON A SONATA BY SCARLATTI (1985) 3′
Premiere: 26 March 1985, McLellan Galleries, Glasgow
Margaret Murray McLeod (harpsichord)

ACCORDION

THE PASSAGE OF THE DIVINE BIRD (1991) 16′
Commissioned by Owen Murray
Premiere: 24 June 1991, St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, St Magnus Festival (Orkney)
Owen Murray (accordion)

SONGS and SONG-CYCLES (with piano and other instruments)

THREE NOCTURNES (1959) 9′
Poems by Walter de la Mare, Christina Rossetti and Lord Tennyson
for tenor or soprano and piano

ANIMAL SONGS (1971) 8′
Poems by Naomi Royd Smith, Theodore Roethke and William Blake
for soprano, clarinet(+bass clarinet) and piano
Premiere: 14 October 1972, Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh
Trio Concordia

CANTO PER TRE (1972) 9′
Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet from the Portuguese
for mezzo-soprano, viola and piano
Premiere: 23 September 1972, Reid Concert Hall,
University of Edinburgh
Trio Felice

TWO CAROLS (1975) 6′
1. The Angel Gabriel
2. Ding, Dong merrily on high!

arranged for mezzo-soprano, viola and piano

BILBO’S LAST SONG (1975) 9′
Text by J.R.R. Tolkein
for tenor and harpsichord
Premiere: 18 April 1975, St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh
Raimund Gilvan (tenor) and Margaret Murray McLeod (harpsichord)

LIEDER DER JUGEND (1978) 18′
German texts taken from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
for tenor and piano

PEACOCKS WITH A HUNDRED EYES (1984) 17′
Poems by Shelley and Christina Rossetti
for counter-tenor or mezzo-soprano or baritone and piano
Commissioned by James Littlejohn
Premiere: 8 May 1984, Wigmore Hall, London
Ashley Stafford (counter-tenor) and Penelope Smith (piano)
‘Strongly illustrated music with evocative use of a lyrical line highlighted by dramatic florid passages’ 
The Daily Telegraph

THREE POEMS OF IRINA RATUSHINSKAYA (1992) 10′
for soprano and piano
Premiere: 2 March 1992, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh
Jane Manning (soprano) and Dominic Saunders (piano)

CHANSONS DE LA NUIT ET DU BROUILLARD (1992) 12′
Poems by Jean Cayrol
for soprano and piano
Premiere: 2 March 1992, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh
Jane Manning (soprano) and Dominic Saunders (piano)
‘You were conscious of a seriousness that made no compromises, a mixture of French colour and German severity’
The Independent

THE WHITE FLAME (1994) 13′
Texts by J.B.Priestley
for baritone and piano
Commissioned by the Trustees of the Priestley Estate to commemorate his centenary
Premiere: 12 September 1994, Bellevue School, Bradford
John Hearne (baritone) and Robert Howie (piano)

SONG OF THE CONCUBINE (1998) 3’30”
Text taken from an ancient Chinese poem
for soprano, 2 clarinets, viola, cello and double bass
Commissioned by The Composers’ Ensemble of London
Premiere:  1 November 2001, The Warehouse, London
Mary Wiegold (soprano), The Composers’ Ensemble conducted by Dominic Muldowney

FILM AND TV SCORES

SUMMER OF THE LONGSHIP (1982)
Documentary
Director: Keith Alexander
BBC 1 (Scotland)

ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE (1983)
Feature
Director: Michael Radford
Umbrella Films/Channel 4

STEAM (1983)
Documentary
Director: Eddie McConnell
International Film Associates/Channel 4

THISTLEDOWN (1983)
Documentary
Director: Eddie McConnell
International Film Associates/Channel 4

IN DARKNESS VISIBLE (1984)
Drama/Documentary
Director: Mike Alexander
BBC 1 (Scotland)

HOW WE LOOK (1985)
Documentary
Director: Keith Alexander
BBC 2

A VIEW FROM A WINDOW (1986)
Feature
Director: Suri Krishnamma
BBC 2

THE SHUTTER FALLS (1986)
Feature
Director: Peter Barber-Fleming
BBC 2

SCOTLAND 2000 (1987)
Documentary
(Title Music)
BBC 1 (Scotland)