News in 2023
Latest update | May 2023
- 21 May 2023: as part of the Dulwich Festival, Southwark Sinfonietta will perform Rootham's Miniature Suite for Piano and Strings, Op.61. The concert will be held at 6 pm at St John’s Church, Goose Green, East Dulwich Road SE22 9AT - tickets £10 on the door.
- 14 February 2022: this day marks the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Rootham's opera The Two Sisters, Op.55
- 19 February 2022: we use optical music recognition to capture Act 1 of the original vocal score of The Two Sisters, Op.55
- 20 February 2022: using a scan of the original manuscript, we start manual transcription of the orchestral parts for Act 1 of The Two Sisters, Op.55
- COVID-19 happened, and live music performance was stifled
- Dan Rootham (editor of the Cyril Rootham website) concentrated his efforts on a Public Domain transcription project: the OpenScore Lieder Corpus with a multinational online team of transcribers
- 3 October 2019: Paul Carr is organist for this Thursday Live event at St Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham, opening his lunchtime recital with CBR's Fantasia Overture in D minor Op.14 - details on our Concerts page
- 1 August 2019: London Music Press publishes CBR's Suite for Pianoforte Op.88 - written in 1933 and now available in print for the first time
- 21 July 2019: a concert in Bracknell featured CBR's The Two Sisters Concert Overture Op.57, in the Wilde Theatre at South Hill Park Arts Centre - full details on our Concerts page
- 20 July 2019: Maureen Redbond (cello) and Janet Roberts (piano) performed CBR's Op.73 "In the Lake Country" in Rayleigh, Essex - more details are on our Concerts page
- 14-15 June 2019: not heard for 111 years... and then two evening performances of CBR's dramatic cantata Andromeda Op.18, at the Charles Kingsley 200 Festival in Eversley.
More details on our Concerts page...
Charles Kingsley 200 Festival: "Andromeda"
download the Andromeda flyer (PDF file 10 Mb)
- 25 May 2019: at the English Music Festival in Dorchester-on-Thames, Rupert Marshall-Luck and Michael Korstick gave a powerful and convincing performance of CBR's Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor Op.75 to open their morning concert
- 28 March 2019: we have received a fascinating dissertation by Cameron Weatherford about CBR's For the Fallen Op.51 which you can download as a PDF file.
DISCLAIMER In the paper, Dan Rootham is named as the author of the Wikipedia article on Cyril Rootham. But in fact the original author is a Swedish-American musicologist, and Dan Rootham only made minor contributions to the Wikipedia entry some years later.
- 3 March 2019: Paul Carr continued his series of Sunday Afternoon Organ Concerts
at Holy Trinity Church, Wordsley DY8 5RU, in a programme which included two works by Cyril Rootham
- Fantasia Overture in D minor Op.14 and Rhapsody on an Old English Tune Op.74
Paul Carr and Dan Rootham in Holy Trinity Church, Wordsley
Photo: Anne Davies
- 2 March 2019: after intense rehearsals the previous day, Quintin Beer conducted a private performance of CBR's dramatic cantata Andromeda Op.18 - the first since its premiere in 1908.
This event was in preparation for the full performances on 14-15 June 2019 (see above) and was co-funded by the Rootham family and the Charles Kingsley 200 Festival.
You can hear the complete recording (with score pages in sync) on the Andromeda playlist page.
The performance used the vocal score, with Raya Kostova at the piano. The recording engineer was James Waterhouse, in the beautiful environment of St Cuthbert's Church, Earls Court:
Quintin Beer (conductor), Raya Kostova (piano) and choir in St Cuthbert's Church, Earls Court
- 16 January 2019: Emma Sheppard (viola) and Julian Jacobson (piano) gave a lunchtime recital in Doncaster at the Priory Place Methodist Church -
their fascinating concert included CBR's In the Lake Country Op.73, and full details are on our Concerts page
- 2 December 2018: this Sunday afternoon concert included a performance by Taunton Sinfonietta of CBR's ever-popular Op.61 Miniature Suite (1920) which the composer dedicated to his sister. More details and a photo of the event are on our Concerts page.
11 November 2018: the Armistice Centenary marks 100 years since the end of the First World War.
The occasion triggered many acts of remembrance, including performances of CBR's Op.51 For the Fallen (1914).
And in his "Hinterland" column, Simon Heffer praised CBR's Op.51 For the Fallen.
The famous Richard Hickox recording of this work with the Northern Sinfonia of England, Sinfonia Chorus and BBC Northern Singers is now available as a download from Presto Classical.
- 28 September 2018: belatedly we are adding a link to a recording from September 2017 of CBR's Op.90 Evening Service in E minor (1933) sung by the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge (for whom it was originally composed). It is fascinating to compare this recording with the 1965 recording made by the choir of Wells Cathedral - noting in particular how pronunciation has changed over the intervening decades.
- 4 July 2018: at the Interlochen Center for the Arts (Michigan, USA), the Summer Camp Concert featured CBR's Op.83 Septet (1930) - a work dedicated to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. More details are on our Concerts page.
- 22 June 2018: the Elgar Society's London branch held a meeting at Trinity College, Oxford
which included several talks and a short organ recital in the College Chapel. One talk in particular is of interest to followers of Cyril Rootham's music:
Philip Petchey gave an almost forensic analysis titled "Elgar, Binyon and Rootham". In this talk Philip examined in detail the correspondence
surrounding the well-known 'misunderstanding' between Elgar and Rootham over their respective settings of Binyon's poem "For the Fallen". And fascinatingly, it turns out that neither composer was entirely blameless in this unfortunate affair: at one stage or another, each man conveniently 'forgot' statements which he had made in earlier letters! Our warm thanks to Philip for his even-handed and careful article: there's no hiding place from the scrutiny of the serious researcher.
In the Danson Room at Trinity College, Oxford (left to right):
• Prof Michael Alexander (Speaker: "Aspects of Binyon")
• Dame Hilary Boulding (President: Trinity College, Oxford)
• Philip Petchey (Speaker: "Elgar, Binyon and Rootham")
• Teresa Cahill (Soloist in recordings of Elgar's "The Spirit of England"
and Rootham's "Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity")
• Dan Rootham (grandson of Cyril Rootham)
- 18 June 2018: to mark the successful transcription effort and public launch of the OpenScore Lieder Corpus, a Lieder recital was held at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. And in a generous gesture, the programme included a song by Cyril Rootham: Op.30 A Supplication (1908). This song is dedicated to "R. M. L." - otherwise known as Rosamond Margaret Lucas, the future wife of Cyril Rootham. On this auspicious occasion the song was performed by Will Bosworth, accompanied by Mark Gotham: more details and a photo of the Lieder Corpus team are on our Concerts page.
- 20 Apr 2018: an informal recital to launch the CD of English flute music performed by James Dutton (flute) and Oliver Davies (piano).
The recital included two movements from Rootham's Op.64 Suite in Three Movements, and James went on to give three further launch recitals in Norway
and the USA.
What's special about this music is that all these composers (including Cyril Rootham) had connections with the Royal College of Music, and that none of these works had previously been recorded for CD: hence the album's title "Idyll: The English Flute Unheard". More details on our Concerts page.
- 9 Feb 2018: we now have a recording of Rootham's Op.88 "Suite for Pianoforte" (1933), in a performance by Philip Lange.
This unusual four-movement piece is CBR's only work for solo piano and is dedicated "To Pamela McKenna".
- 24 Jan 2018: we have found a recording by unknown performers of Rootham's Op.83 "Septet" (1930).
This fascinating discovery consisted of a set of Compact Cassettes in the archive left by CBR's son Jasper Rootham, and we believe that the performance dates from the 1980s.
If you can help us to identify the players, please get in touch through our Feedback page.
- 7 Jan 2018: we have started to build a list of First Performance Dates for Rootham's compositions.
If you can provide premiere dates for any unlisted works (or correct dates for the few listed works), do please let us know through our Feedback page.
- 6 Jan 2018: thanks to the MuseScore notation software, you can now follow the score of Rootham's Op.90 No.2 Evening Service in E minor (1933) while listening to the famous recording made in Wells Cathedral by Denys Pouncey back in 1965.
This recording is contained in the 5-CD box set The Treasury of English Church Music.
- 18 Dec 2017: just rescued from a battered vinyl LP and now on YouTube for you to see and hear - the 5-minute introduction to Rootham's Op.81 Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity (1928).
This was the very first recording of the work, made at a CUMS concert in 1962 with David Willcocks conducting; the tenor soloist in the Introduction was Wilfred Brown.
A very Happy Christmas to you all!
- 12 Dec 2017: now typeset from the original manuscript, and available to hear (in a synthesized version) with online score - Rootham's Op.10 String Quartet in G minor (1902).
This work was dedicated to CBR's father Daniel Wilberforce Rootham (1837-1922).
- 31 Oct 2017: a lunchtime recital at the Guards' Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London, which included a performance of Cyril Rootham's Op.64 Suite in Three Movements (1921) for flute and piano.
James Dutton and Oliver Davies performed works for flute and piano by English composers: more details on our Concerts page.
- 7 Sep 2017: a major step forward - CBR's Op.97 Symphony No 2 in D (1938) has now been typeset for the first time (for this our thanks to Ian Denley)
- 6 Aug 2017: two more CBR recordings are now available on YouTube: Cyril Rootham's Suite in Three Movements (Op.64, 1921) for flute and piano, and Cyril Rootham's Daybreak at Sea (Op.87, 1933) for unaccompanied voices SSATBB; and you can find more of CBR's music on the YouTube playlist "Cyril Rootham's music"
- 4 July 2017: another premiere CBR recording is now available on YouTube: Cyril Rootham's String Quintet in D major (Op.27), composed in 1908 and performed here by the augmented London City Quartet
- 23 June 2017: on YouTube you can now listen to Cyril Rootham's Capriccio for String Quartet in D minor (Op.20), composed in 1905 and recorded for the first time by the Crystal Palace String Quartet
- 21 May 2017: at the Eucharist Service in St Peter's Church in Dorchester (Dorset), the choir sang Rootham's anthem "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance" Op.24
- 22 Apr 2017: at the Daventry weekend meeting (21-23 April) of the Federation of Recorded Music Societies, CBR's grandson Dan Rootham gave a talk about Cyril Rootham's music - with some extracts from historic recordings
FRMS chairman Allan Child introducing Dan's talk about Cyril Rootham (Photo: Chris Ward)
- 11 Apr 2017: we undertook a successful recording session for two of CBR's little-known but beautiful chamber works: Op.20 "Capriccio for String Quartet in D minor" (1905) and Op.27 "String Quintet in D major" (1908)
- 19 Mar 2017: Cyril Rootham's Op.89 "March for Military Band" (1933) was included in a concert by the London Military Band - details are on our Concerts page, and on our Playlist page you can now hear the first recording of Rootham's "March for Military Band" (Op.89)
- 12 Feb 2017: six early CBR songs (1894-1905) and the later choral work Op.65 "Brown Earth" (1922) can now be played on this website: look for the player icons on our Works page
- 28 Jan 2017: MuseScore's clever technology now allows you to hear several CBR songs and part-songs on the musescore.com website
- 6 Jan 2017: at a charity concert in the Normansfield Theatre in Teddington, CBR's grandson Dan Rootham sang the rarely-heard Op.19 "The Ballad of Kingslea Mere" (1905)
- 18 Nov 2016: The Treasury Singers gave a lunchtime concert in St Margaret's Church, Westminster. Their programme included CBR's two songs Op.5 (1898): "Love and Laughter" and "Strew on her Roses" - details on the Concerts page
- 20 June 2016: as part of the Festival of Chichester, the Anemos Wind Quintet gave a recital, when their programme included CBR's Op.83 "Septet" (1930); for this work they were joined by Ruth McGibben (viola) and Kate Ham (harp). The beautiful venue of St John's Chapel, Chichester added to this memorable performance
- 10 June 2016: at Choral Evensong in the Chapel of St John's College, Cambridge, the choir sang CBR's Op.90 "Evening Service in E minor". If you have never heard CBR's beautiful setting, do listen to Cyril Rootham's "Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis Op.90" in this 1965 recording from Wells Cathedral
- 4 May 2016: just released by Banks Music as an OUP Archive reprint - the vocal score of CBR's Op.91 "Praise the Lord O my soul (Psalm 103)" (1934)
- 25 Apr 2016: now available from Allegro Music as OUP Archive reprints - CBR's Op.75 "Sonata in G minor for Violin and Piano" (1925) and Op.85 "Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Pianoforte" (1931)
- 15 Apr 2016: add to Playlist a link to CBR's Op.90 "Evening Service in E minor", recorded in Wells Cathedral in 1965 with Denys Pouncey (© Warner Music Group)
- 13 Apr 2016: you can now download an Excel spreadsheet with the updated list of CBR's works (ver 6 - 56Kb)
- 26 Mar 2016: in his column "Hinterland" in the Daily Telegraph, Simon Heffer publishes a fascinating article about Lyrita Recorded Edition and the late Richard Itter; both of CBR's symphonies get a mention
- 29 Feb 2016: add to Playlist a performance of "Hark where Poseidon's White racing horses" Op.94, recorded at a concert by the Ripieno Choir in 2014
- 5 Oct 2015: this day marked the 140th anniversary of the birth of Cyril Bradley Rootham - and only 10 years to run until the big celebration in 2025.
- 30 Aug 2015: a fascinating review by Bruce Reader of the CBR Lyrita 2-CD release in July 2015
- 3 July 2015: a two CD set released by Lyrita as part of the Itter Broadcast Collection - CBR's final work "Symphony No 2 in D major (Revelation)" Op.97 and his inspired choral setting of Milton's epic poem "Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity" Op.81. Thank you, Lyrita!
- 24 June 2015: add to Playlist a talk by Arthur Hutchings "The music of Cyril Rootham", broadcast in 1975 as part of the CBR centenary.
- 20 June 2015: the summer concert by the Ripieno Choir included CBR's Op.87 "Daybreak at Sea". The choir's musical director David Hansell selected the work as one of his "personal favourites", and you can hear Ripeno's earlier 2014 performance on the Playlist.
- 14 June 2015: add to the Playlist a historic 1927 recording of CBR conducting William Byrd's "Have mercy upon me O God" in the chapel of St John's College, Cambridge
- 5 Mar 2015: to help researchers, add Opus No and Genre to our lists of CBR works held in the St John's College Library and the Cambridge University Library
- 28 Jan 2015: add Playlist score pages to recording of Op.38 "The Stolen Child"
- 23 Dec 2014: add Playlist score pages to Op.16 "A Shepherd in a Glade" recording
- 10 Dec 2014: Dr Adam Crothers (St John's College, Cambridge) publishes an article about Milton's Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity and CBR's musical setting of the work (Op.81: 1928)
- 4 Nov 2014: the Mezin Piano Trio performed CBR's Op.85 Piano Trio in Chichester Cathedral
- 27 Oct 2014: add a Progress page to show our success over the last 18 months
- 20 Sep 2014: add to Playlist a recorded performance of Op.28 "Epinikion" for organ
- 20 Sep 2014: add link to CBR's textbook "Voice Training for Choirs and Schools" (1912)
- 21 July 2014: add to Playlist a recording of the part-song Op.16 "A Shepherd in a Glade"
- 21 July 2014: add to Playlist a recording of the flute sonata Op.64 "Suite in Three Movements"
- 27 June 2014: recording of Op.64 "Suite in Three Movements" at the University of Surrey studio
- 25 June 2014: Stainer & Bell re-publish as "Print on Demand" 14 vocal works by CBR
- 21 June 2014: recording of CBR part-songs at the Ripieno Choir concert in The Menuhin Hall
- 15 June 2014: Iestyn Davies recital at the Wigmore Hall includes three songs by CBR
- 11 June 2014: on the "Listen" page: Cantilena sing part-song Op.92 "Guy's Cliffe at Night"
- 7 June 2014: performance of Op.51 "For the Fallen" at St Mary's University College
- 23 Mar 2014: Stainer & Bell re-publish as "Print on Demand" six CBR works from their archive
- 25 Feb 2014: add "Concerts" page with details of future live performances of CBR's music
- 5 Feb 2014: music publishers Stainer & Bell add a "Cyril Rootham" page to their website
- 2 Feb 2014: "Listen" page - add synchronised score pages to the "For the Fallen" recording
- 8 Dec 2013: "Listen" page goes live - your chance to hear some CBR works on the website
- 9 Nov 2013: add "Photos" page where you can browse the Rootham family album
- 17 Oct 2013: "Recordings" page - add link to British Library sound archive
- 2 Oct 2013: "Works" page - add opus numbers and works from Jasper Rootham's CBR catalogue
- 8 Sep 2013: add "Anecdotes" page to mark the 75th anniversary of CBR's death
- 3 Sep 2013: add "Feedback" page, update "Works" page
- 30 Aug - 1 Sep 2013: launch website to prommers at the Royal Albert Hall
- 30 Aug 2013: "Works" page - add links to recordings and publishers
- 29 Aug 2013: "Works" page - add link to list of CBR works in Cambridge University Library
- 27 Aug 2013: add preliminary "Works" page
- 24 Aug 2013: add "Recordings" page
- 21 Aug 2013: website goes online
Cyril Bradley Rootham (CBR) was a composer, conductor, teacher and college organist. For most of his working life he was based at St John's College, Cambridge - a place which he loved. So far five generations of the Rootham family had connections with or have graduated from St John's College.
Although a prolific composer in his own right, CBR also directed his efforts towards the revival of neglected works by established composers (Purcell, Mozart and Handel) and in the promotion of new music from contemporary composers (Vaughan Williams, Kodály, Honegger and Pizzetti ). As conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS), CBR had at his disposal a large orchestra for such musical ventures. The article about CBR on Wikipedia provides more details about his career.
From 1900 until his early death in 1938, CBR was an influential figure in Cambridge musical life. He became Senior Lecturer in Counterpoint and Harmony, and taught a number of musicians who went on to become significant composers (including Arthur Bliss, Armstrong Gibbs and Patrick Hadley).
Previously at the Proms...
- 14 Mar 1923: not a Prom as such but the first performance of CBR's choral work Op.65 "Brown Earth", at a concert in the Royal Albert Hall given by the combined musical societies of Oxford and Cambridge Universities: "Brown Earth" also received the prestigious Carnegie Award
- 19 Sep 1918: CBR premieres his concert overture Op.57 "The Two Sisters", Prom 35 at the Queen's Hall: the music was drawn from his opera Op.55 "The Two Sisters" (which was not completed until 1920)
- 3 Oct 1911: Prom 45 at the Queen's Hall features Henry Wood conducting the premiere of CBR's orchestral Op.36 "A Passer By"
Future plans: during 2020 this website will continue to augment the list of CBR's works, telling you about upcoming editions of CBR's music, announcing live concerts, and adding more synchronised score pages to the playlist on the Works page.
Note: if you have any information you would like to contribute to the website, or if you are planning a performance of one of CBR's works, please do get in touch through our Feedback page.