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Works For Organ
Prayer (2017) - 2' 30" - This lilting, melodic piece was written during my first year of university. Dedicated to Mrs. Julie Leahy of the Leahy Family from Lakefield, Ontario. This piece, although simple in its beauty, has been premiered by myself during a final concert of the McGill Organ Academy in 2017, which ran as part of the Montreal Organ Festival. The performance took place at St. James United Church, on their large four manual organ, but this piece can be easily played on an two manual organ. This piece has also been performed by friends as far away as Alberta and Australia, usually in a liturgical capacity.
Processional (2018) - 0' 45" - A shorter piece, but not without character, it is a brightly coloured work that would work well as either a bold prelude, or even as a fiery postlude (despite the name).
Postlude (2018) - 2' 00" - This work, with its scherzando tone, it a fun, lively work for the end of service, but also appropriate for concert use. I had written this piece for my own enjoyment, but it was soon performed and recorded by my friend Graeme Shields of Kalamazoo, Michigan, who put it on YouTube (see the "Recordings" page). Graeme performed it with the composer present in a concert at First-St. Andrew's United Church in London, Ontario in October 2018.
Petite Sortie (2018) - 1' 20" - A short work for the end of Mass or a church service, this piece was written for Joe Carere, the organist of the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, in Guelph, Ontario. A jubilant and jaunty sortie, it is filled with unexpected chromatic turns and modal moments.
Works for Chamber Ensembles
Gaelic Rhapsody (2018) - String Quintet (with Double Bass) - 4' 30" - This work is based on a haunting, traditional Scottish Gaelic melody, Chì mi na mòrbheanna, which I first heard sung by the Rankin Family in a recording. For years, I have loved this melody, and wanted to do something with it. It wasn't until my second year composition class, in which, for our final project, we were instructed to write a piece inspired by folk music. Given my background with Celtic music, and this melody came to mind. This piece was performed as part of the Student Composer's Concert at Western University on October 22nd, 2018, and was very well received. A recording shall be coming soon.
Fanfare (2018) - for Brass Septet (3 tpt, hn, tbn, bass tbn, tba) - 2' 00" - A bright, festive flourish for a larger brass chamber ensemble, this piece mixes my love for Brucknerian progression and modal turns. This piece is dedicated to French horn player and professor of horn at Western University, Ron George, who was the inspiration for this work. Ron kindly programmed this piece as part of October 2018's "Brass Day" at the Don Wright Faculty of Music in a workshop format. It was well received, and as it was a workshop, I was able to get excellent feedback from the performers on how to improve the piece.
Works for Solo Instrument
Triptych (2019) - Viola and Piano - 8' 00" - This work features three pieces, titled, Idyll, Scherzetto, and Berceuse. The movements vary in intensity, with the first being more moderate and melancholic, followed by a brisk little scherzo, and ending off with a lyrical lullaby.
Rêverie (2019) - French Horn and Piano - 2' 40" - This charming piece has a floating feeling akin to daydreaming, with lush sonorities and broad melodies. The piano provides a colourful accompaniment, adding to the cloud-like atmosphere.
Viola Sonata (2020) - Viola and Piano - 18' 30" - The Viola Sonata is a work that is a synthesis of Tate's varied musical background. His love for the classical music of 20th-century Britain, as well his own interest in folk music, the roving harmonies of Bruckner, and a predilection for the Church modes are displayed throughout. Dedicated to two of the composer's friends, Elizabeth van't Voort (viola) and Hannah Salamon-Vegh (piano).
Works for Orchestra
Cò am Fear (2018) - String Orchestra - 9' 30" - This work is a series of variations on a traditional Scottish Gaelic song from World War I, titled An Eala Bhàn ("The White Swan"). The song, written by Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna in the trenches of the Battle of the Somme addresses his sweetheart back home. This song, with its haunting melody and tragic lyrics, was of great inspiration for me, and never fails to move me when I listen to it. The title of my piece comes from the second verse, translating to "who among men?" Dòmhnall writes in the song, "who among men endures eternally," as he contemplates the mortality all around him. I wrote this piece in my third year composition class at Western University, and although it has not been performed yet, I am very happy with the score and hope to have it performed in the near future.
Fanfara Infuocata (2019) - Orchestra (22.214.171.124.; 126.96.36.199.; timp. plus 2 perc.; harp; and strings) - 2' 15" - This bombastic orchestral fanfare was written after listening to much of American composer Jennifer Higdon's music. While I did not aim to emulate her style, her works gave me lots of food for thought. The idea of a kind of counter of textures within her music was one of the driving inspirations for this piece. This fanfare features modal turns and passing polychordal moments, with big brassy bits and quieter, lyrical sections.
Works for Choir
Ave Verum Corpus (2019) - SSATB a cappella - 2' 30" - Scored in a modal F-sharp minor soundscape for five voices, this choral piece was accidentally written in March of 2019. It was written while procrastinating, but I didn't expect to write almost the whole thing in one sitting. The inspiration for this work was the Conspirato Chamber Choir, in London, Ontario. I was invited to join them for their April concert, and was delighted by the high level of singing and excellent tone found in this choir. I had been meaning to set this text for years, and this is the first setting I've written that I'm happy with.
I've been writing hymns with Christian Walter John Catsanos since February 2018. We have written more than 20 hymns for the Church year. They are traditional in style, and harmonized in a standard SATB format. Our booklet is now available on Amazon. (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1704117453?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860) A review has also been written on my hymns, found on Catholic Insight. (https://catholicinsight.com/a-traditional-gem-from-a-young-composer-a-review-of-new-catholic-hymns/)