CD A0185: Looping the loop

Looping the loop by The British Clarinet Ensemble

CD Cover:  Looping the Loop by The British Clarinet Ensemble

Featuring works by British Composers the BCE recorded this their second CD in Copford Parish Church, Copford, Essex in August 2006. The producer is Tim Redpath. The music on the CD is: Anthony Bailey - Towards the Wind & Mahleriana; Alan Bullard - Circular Melody; Martin Ellerby -Looping the Loop (Chicago-Hop); Adam Gorb - Burlesque; Gordon Jacob - Concertino for Clarinet (Selected and arranged from Sonatas of Giuseppe Tartini with soloist Anna Hashimoto); Andy Scott - Fujiko & Paquito; Nigel Wood - Where Spirits and Demons dance; Guy Woolfenden - Three Dances for Clarinet Choir

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Track Listing & Audio Samples

4-7 CONCERTINO Solo Clarinet: Anna Hashimoto
14 FUJIKO Eb Clarinet : Andrew Smith


CD Notes & Credits

Sleeve Notes

Alan Bullard was born in London in 1947 and is a free-lance composer and music examiner. His music is performed world-wide and he has written many works for Wind instruments including a large number of educational pieces. He is also much in demand as a composer of choral music. For many years he was a colleague of Charles Hine at Colchester Institute and Charles has been responsible for first performances of several of Alan’s works.

Circular Melody was originally written in 1990 for the Colchester Institute Saxophone Ensemble, directed by the late Angela Fussell and subsequently arranged for clarinet ensemble. The intention was to Write a piece which explores the rich sonority of the single-reed ensemble and to do so, deliberately limiting the musical material — in fact the entire piece is based on a descending scale figure. This figure is extended to produce an almost perpetual flow of notes which is used to create melodic and accompanying material. Structurally the piece falls into three sections, the lively outer sections flanking a dreamily expressive centre.

Anthony Bailey studied composition and clarinet at the Royal College of Music. Whilst at the RCM he was awarded many prizes for composition and performance, including the Joseph Horovitz, Manilow, Cruft and Farrar prizes and an award from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Anthony’s compositions, which range from orchestral music and opera to chamber music and solo works, have been played in major venues throughout the UK, Europe, America and Japan. and on national radio.

Towards the Wind a BCE commission, was first performed in 2001. It is a highly chromatic fugal piece, which starts in a calm mood building towards a faster, stormy central section, returning to the opening mood of calm reflection, its energy having been expended.

Mahieriana written during a break from work on Anthony’s first opera, The Black Monk, which was premiered in 2003, is a shod, whimsical piece, re-imagining the string based sound world of Mahier for the clarinet ensemble! It is in one movement, and is very simple in design.

Martin Ellerby was born in England in 1957. He studied composition with Joseph Horovitz and W.S. Lloyd Webber at the Royal College of Music and later, privately, with Wilfred Josephs by means of an Alicard Award from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He has written a broad range of music for orchestra, band, choir and chamber ensemble. His music has been widely performed and recorded throughout the world including 660 Radio 3, the South Bank and the Proms in the UK along with much coverage in Europe, the USA and the Far East. Martin is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Looping the Loop, a Chicago Hop. The Loop is the name given to the elevated train system that encircles the old heart of the city of Chicago, USA. Looping the Loop is not a literal depiction of this train’s journey but more of an imaginary trip where all sorts of mini-adventures take place, linked by the common feature of ever-present trains. Thus the subtitle “Chicago Hop” alludes to both the “ride” and the “dance” in which the whole piece indulges. The work, conceived in a “swing” idiom, consists of several episodes linked by recurring motifs that help bind the piece together. The sense of fun is thoroughly intentional, as is the ending! The BCE commissioned Looping the Loop with funds provided by the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain and the Darlington Clarinet Ensemble. The premier was at the 2001 CA Clarinetfest in New Orleans, USA. The UK premiere was at the Third British Clarinet Congress at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on 18th November 2001.

Gordon Jacob 1895-1984. After his initial schooling at Dulwich College, he became a student at the Royal College of Music in London, where his tutors included Stanford, Parry and Howells. He taught briefly at Birkbeck and Morley Colleges in London, before returning to the RCM in 1926 where he taught until he retired in 1966.

Concertino selected and arranged from Sonatas of Giuseppe Tartini for clarinet
Grave—Allegro molto—Adaglo—Allegro risoluto

The music is arranged from two of Tartini’s violin sonatas to enable clarinetists to play music
of the baroque period. Originally for clarinet and piano, this version followed one for clarinet
and strings.

Adam Gorb was born in 1958 and studied music at Cambridge University and composition at the Royal Academy of Music. Notable works for Wind Ensemble include Metropolis which won the 1994 Walter Beeler Memorial Prize in the USA, Awayday, Yiddish Dances and Elements, a Percussion Concerto for Evelyn Glennie. Recent works include Towards Nirvana, which was first performed by the Tokyo Kosei Wind Ensemble in October 2002, and which won a British Composer Award in 2004, Adam is Head of School of Composition and Contemporary Music at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Burlesque was commissioned by the BCE, for the ensemble’s performance at the 2004 ICA Clarinetfest in Washington, USA, with funds from the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain, and Charles Hine. The strident fanfares that open Burlesque are drawn from the opening of a suite for two clarinets, opus 1, written when the composer was thirteen in 1971. This acts as a curtain raiser to the main body of the piece, highlighting the more grotesque characteristics of the clarinet family, including an abundance of grace notes, flutter tonguing and sounds influenced by the Klezmer idiom. Violent outbursts alternate with passages of more joyous lyricism. A more tranquil section follows, drawn from the opening, before a brief finale takes the piece into a more flowing sound world. At the very end, a melody reminiscent of a Neapolitan folk song emerges, but ominous rumblings from the contrabass clarinet sound the warning that a more grotesque world isn’t far away.

Guy Woolfenden As Head of Music to the RSC, he collaborated with some of the world’s finest directors, designers and choreographers in many award-winning productions and his theatre music is highly regarded throughout the world. In collaboration with choreographer André Prokovsky, he has arranged the music for four ballets, which he has conducted in productions world-wide. Guy’s wind orchestra compositions are performed and recorded all over the world. He is conductor of the Birmingham Conservatoire Wind Orchestra. Guy composed Gordian Knots for the BCE and this work is featured on our first CD issued in 1999.

Three Dances for Clarinet Choir was commissioned by the British Federation of Music Festivals, with funds provided by Yorkshire Arts Association, and is dedicated to John Reynolds who gave the first performance, in July 1985 in Harrogate. The first movement has a restless energy due to its constantly changing metre and attractive melodic invention. The Andante con moto, with its alternating passages of three-four and three-eight rhythm, is suggestive of a ‘pas de deux’ with a gentle feminine theme contrasted with a stronger masculine statement. This movement leads without a break into the final Allegro, a rumbustious ensemble dance with a definite ‘Slavic’ feel to it.

Nigel Wood studied clarinet and saxophone at Birmingham Conservatoire where he later established its first saxophone department. As an undergraduate, he co-founded Saxtet and began to write saxophone music for the group, resulting in the birth of Saxtet Publications, the UK’s leading specialist publisher of saxophone music. Its success, however, came at the expense of Nigel’s performing and composing careers. However, both interests were revived when he established the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain in 2002, and he now pioneers the world’s smallest saxophone, the soprillo, through its busy concert schedule.

Where Spirits and Demons Dance was written for Saxophonia, a saxophone choir which evolved out of the National Youth Wind Orchestra and was premiered by them in April 1995 at the Purcell Room. ‘Demons’ now features regularly in the concerts of The National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain. The inspiration came from the haunting and sinister sounds of an old barrel-organ heard in the Bohemian heart of Amsterdam, and the choir’s homogenous timbres suggest the organ’s reedy pipes. The picture of Amsterdam’s street life portrayed is one of the conflict between its superficial charm and the sleazier undertones of the environment. The clarinet choir version was premiered by the Dallas Wind Symphony, in New Orleans, at the 2001 CA ClarinetFest.

Andy Scott is a member of the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, Sax Assault and the Dave Hassell-Andy Scott Duo. He freelances with the Halle Orchestra, London Saxophonic, Psappha, Apitos and numerous jazz and new music ensembles. Andy’s individual compositional style reflects his eclectic performing experience and diverse musical upbringing. He has received numerous commissions many of which have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Andy is Tutor of Saxophone at the Royal Northern College of Music, co-Artistic Director of the RNCM Saxophone Day, Consultant of Saxophone at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Artistic Director of the Harrogate Saxophone Summer School.

Fujiko is a feature for Eb clarinet which initially explores the low register of the instrument before embarking on a journey upwards. It was commissioned, with sponsorship from the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain and Henri Selmer Paris, by the BCE for their performance at the 2005 Clarinetfest of the International Clarinet Association held in Tokyo.

Paquito was first performed at the 2004 Clarinetfest of the International Clarinet Association at the University of Maryland, Washington DC, USA by the BCE. The piece, a fast salsa based around a two-three dave pulse, featuring a fiery Bb clarinet notated ‘solo’ pays homage to the brilliant composer, saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera.

Charles Hine studied clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music where he received numerous awards including the Geoffrey Hawkes Prize for Clarinet, the Lady Holland Prize for Composition and the Recital Diploma. During his studies he won the “Young Musician” Award for South East England and has since been honoured with an ARAM. Since the early 1970s Charles has followed a career as a clarinettist, performing with some of Britain’s leading orchestras and continuing to give solo recitals and concerto performances. He has premiered many works for solo clarinet and is a founder member of the Vega Wind Quintet. Charles is deeply involved with the promotion of wind music, especially its educational aspect. He is Chairman of the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles (BASBWE) Education Trust and a past Chairman of the national association of BASBWE. He is currently Curriculum Manager for Classical and Jazz Studies and Head of Woodwind and Performance Studies at the Colchester Institute, Centre for Music and Performing Arts. He is director of the Essex Youth Symphonic Wind Orchestra and for many years directed the Wind Orchestra and Clarinet Choir at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. Much in demand as an adjudicator, he has chaired the adjudication panels for the National Concert Band Festival and the National Festival of Music for Youth as well as leading seminars and giving clinics and master classes on all aspects of clarinet, wind ensemble and band playing.

Anna Hashimoto was born in Japan in 1989 and moved to London six months later. She started playing the clarinet when she was 8 and studied for six years at the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music with Charles Hine, where she was awarded many prizes. In April 2006 she performed Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet at a Gala Concert at the British Embassy in Paris. Anna is a pupil at the Purcell School of Music under the DfES Music and Dance Scheme studying with Michael Collins. She is principal clarinet of the National Youth Sinfonia, the Purcell Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and is a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

In 2003 Anna won First Prize, and all three special prizes, at the Japan Clarinet Society’s‘Young Clarinetists Competition’ and in 2004, as the youngest participant of 170 entries, she won the Japan Clarinet Competition “Parthenon Tampa Prize” At the Clarinet Fest 2005 in Tokyo she gave the Japan Premiere of Michael Daugherty’s Clarinet concerto ‘Brooklyn Bridge’. Anna has given many recitals in the UK and concerto performances with the English Chamber Orchestra, Japan Chamber Orchestra, and Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. Anna plays on Peter Eaton ‘International’ clarinets.



Recorded in August 2006 at the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Copford, Essex.
Producer and Editor: TIm Redpath (
Project management: John MacKenzie
Cover design: Amy Eliloff
‘Looping the Loop” is dedicated to the memory of Angela Fuasell who died in 2006

Album Information

Instruments:     Clarinet Ensemble
Genre: Contemporary British
Format: Audio CD
Our Ref: A0185
Label: British Clarinet Ensemble
Year: 2007
Origin: UK

Artist Information & Contact Details

British Clarinet Ensemble

Eb Clarinet:
Andrew Smith

Bb Clarinets:
Anthony Bailey, Deborah Corsham, Paula Jeffries, Gemma Waters, Juliet Davis, Alison Eales, Antonia Mott, Felicity Vine, Laura Jeffries, Caroline Burgon

Alto Clarinets:
Carol Taylor, Anne Clarke, Norma Bagot, Fiona Blackwood

Bass Clarinets:
Susan Moss, Bill Blackwood, Andrew Meredith, John MacKenzie

Contrabass Clarinets:
Paul Sargeant, Stephen Bagot

The British Clarinet Ensemble was formed in 1995 under the auspices of the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain. Its members are drawn from all four corners of Britain and include professional and amateur players, teachers and students. Since its inception the BCE has championed British composers, regularly commissioning new works and enhancing the repertoire. In the UK, performances have been given at many BASBWE Conferences and British Clarinet Congresses as well as appearing on BBC Radio 2. The ensemble has toured Finland, Hungary, Poland, Belgium and Holland and has recorded a CD of new British works for clarinet choir - “Gordian Knots”. The BCE has been honoured to appear in the International Clarinet Association festivals in New Orleans, Washington DC and Tokyo.

The BCE acknowledges sponsorship from the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain, Henri Selmer Paris, Vandoren, Buffet and the Colchester Institute Research Fund.

Further Information about the BCE can be found at

Contact John Mackenzie
Web site

Other BCE Recordings

Available from Creighton's Collection:
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Gordian Knots Looping The Loop Calle de las Flores