I have been a bassoonist and contrabassoonist for 20 years, having played in numerous community orchestras. I have also been a composer and arranger for almost as long, having written a large range of music, mostly for strings, as well as double reed instruments – oboe, cor anglais, bassoon and contrabassoon – in a variety of configurations. This page will be updated constantly with new compositions/arrangements and performances, hopefully soon followed by information on how to purchase/download them.
Suites for the Socially Isolated
Due to lockdown affecting many musicians, I decided to compose a series of solo pieces for a range of instruments, titled ‘Suites for the Socially Isolated.’
On Friday 18th September the viola solo of the Suites was premiered by Sean Brennan, a violist and viola teacher all the way over in Michigan, USA.
SUITES FOR THE SOCIALLY ISOLATED – Solo Viola (2020)
by Brendan Black; performed by Sean Brennan.
On Wednesday 26th August I premiered the suite for solo double bass, played by the brilliant Ben Hanlon from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. You can hear more of Ben’s playing as part of the Sherlock Hanlon Duo.
SUITES FOR THE SOCIALLY ISOLATED – Solo Double Bass (2020)
by Brendan Black; performed by Ben Hanlon.
On Tuesday 26th June I premiered the suite for horn, played by the wonderful Tom Campbell, who runs Alexander Australia, an outlet for Alexander Horns in Germany.
SUITES FOR THE SOCIALLY ISOLATED – Solo Horn (2020)
by Brendan Black; performed by Tom Campbell.
On Monday 18th May, the suite for cello was premiered in a concert given by Josephine Vains, a Melbourne-based cellist who has been holding concerts on the footpath for local residents, providing them with some much-needed artistic enrichment. You can read more about Josephine in an article by The Sydney Morning Herald and her website is here.
SUITES FOR THE SOCIALLY ISOLATED – Solo Cello (2020) by Brendan Black; performed by Josephine Vains.
UNCOMMON TRIO NO. 1 (2019) for Flute, Clarinet and Cello by Brendan Black
Melbourne Composers’ League concert, in association with the Sirius Chamber Ensemble from Sydney.
Concert: The Birds Will Sing Them Off
Date: November 10th 2019, St Oswalds Church, Glen Iris
FOUR CAPRICCIOS FOR STRING QUARTET (2018) by BRENDAN BLACK
I describe this piece as a “micro symphony”; four short, whimsical movements – fast-slow-scherzo-fast – written specifically for this concert.
SUZUKI EXPLORATIONS FOR STRING QUARTET (2018) by BRENDAN BLACK
This piece uses themes learnt in the Suzuki Method of music teaching, expanding, juxtaposing and playing with them in order to create new sounds and melodies.
It is based on an earlier work of the same name (see below), but has instead been modified and specifically tailored for professional quartet musicians.
12 VARIATIONS ON ‘POP GOES THE WEASEL’ FOR STRING QUARTET (2018) by BRENDAN BLACK
This is an arrangement of my 4th (yet-to-be premiered) bassoon quartet; as it’s easier to assemble a string quartet than three bassoons and a contrabassoon, it was adapted and made more “string-y”.
SUZUKI EXPLORATIONS – (2018) for FOUR GROUPS OF VIOLINS (BEGINNER TO ADVANCED)
Based on themes learnt in the Suzuki Method of music teaching.
List of other completed works
Bassoon Quartet No. 1 – (3 bsns, cbsn) – 8m33s
Bassoon Quartet No. 2 – (3 bsns, cbsn) – 13m10s
Bassoon Quartet No. 3 – (3 bsns, cbsn) – 13m08s
Bassoon Quartet No. 4 – (3 bsns, cbsn) – 13m04s
Trio for Doublereeds No. 1 – (oboe, cor ang., bsn) – 10m41s
Trio for Doublereeds No. 2 – (oboe, cor ang., bsn) – 7m55s
Trio for Doublereeds No. 3 – (oboe, cor ang., bsn) – 7m31s
Wind Quintet No. 1 – (fl, ob, cl, hn, bsn) – 12m18s
Oboe Quintet No. 1 – (ob, vl1, vl2, vla, vcl) – 11m54s
Romance for Violin & Orchestra – (vl solo, 2fl, 2 ob, 2cl, 2bsn, 2hn, 2tr, t-trb, b-trb, timp (4), vl1, vl2, vla, vcl, cb) – 9m15s
List of arrangements
J.S. Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor – (2 ob, 2 cl, 2 hrns, 2 bsns, cbsn)
J.S. Bach – The Art of Fugue – Contrapunctus 1 & 3 (ob, cor, bsn, bsn/cbsn)
Grainger – Handel in the Strand – wind quintet (fl, ob, cl, hn, bsn)