This page details some of Adrian's compositions.
Text, photographs and music on these pages Copyright © 2009 Adrian Brockless unless otherwise stated.
1. Note about Fantasia in A flat for Violin & Piano: Is the first in a trilogy of pieces for violin and piano. The beginning has a quasi-folk dance feel to it followed by a slower, bluesy middle section. The final section sees a return to the original theme.
2. Note about Berceuse for Violin & Piano: The second piece in the trilogy was composed especially for the guest violin solo spot in a concert given by The Fetcham Singers in July 2011. The melody is loosely based on the Berceuse for String Quartet (track 6) that Adrian wrote in 2007.
3. Note about "Terns" 3rd Movement: Is the final movement of Adrian's "Terns" String Quartet inspired by his experiences as a Species protection Warden for Little and Arctic Terns in Northumberland. This movement echoes the final part of the season when the chicks take their first flights, become restless and finally spiral upwards over the colony to begin their long migration to their wintering grounds in West Africa and the Antarctic. By the end of July, most of the birds had departed, and by the beginning of August the colony was deserted. The final few bars of this movement are a nostalgic reflection on the now abandoned colony.
4. Note about Berceuse for String Quartet: This piece was originally written for a young (prep-school) string quartet. Although it is technically undemanding, the richness of the music is not compromised. The piece itself consists of a series of simple variations on a theme giving each instrument melodic interest, and can all be played in first position. There are two versions - the one you can listen to here is the more advanced.
5. 4th Movement from String Quartet No.2: The theme of the fourth and final movement of Adrian's second string quartet is based on two themes originally written for guitar. A lazy bluesy style with an air of Englishness dominates throughout.
6. Note about Ursa Major: Since childhood, Adrian has been fascinated by the heavens and this was fused with his musical interest when his father (Brian Brockless) wrote for him a piano piece - "Orion." The constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear) is one of the most familiar in the northern sky and was listed by Ptolemy in his book The Almagast published around AD150. The main theme of this work (for piano quintet) is based on the pattern of the seven main stars of the Great Bear and those of her retinue, Cassiopeia and Ursa Minor (The Little Bear); these constellations - incidentally - were also listed by Ptolemy. The 'cello part states the main theme lending an air of the heavy plodding of the Great Bear as well as providing a sense of space; early on, the piano part accentuates this. Each instrument takes up the theme - or part of the theme - and a much livelier motif is introduced on the piano representing the bear running over a powdery snowy wilderness. The second note of the theme of Ursa Major denotes the star Mizar. This star is what is known as an optical double star - that is, Mizar appears very close to another, fainter, star but is in no way related to it. The acciaccatura which accompanies this note represents the fainter star Alcor.
The "W" of the queen Cassiopeia also has its own theme stated in the piano and is much more poised and tranquil.
Ursa Minor is represented by a minor key and a different pattern of notes; there is a liveliness here that is intended to portray a young playful bear. The held top G (the first note of the minor theme) in the piano part denotes the constancy of Polaris (the pole star) which is situated above the celestial pole and never moves.
7. Autumnal Elegy: Written about 10 years ago on a pleasant sunny late summer afternoon outside the Tate Modern. Played by the Harris Quartet in 2008.
*Tracks 1 performed by Victoria Barnes (violin) and Adrian Brockless (piano)
* Tracks 3 performed by Aldate Strings
* Tracks 3, 4, 5 & 6 performed by The Harris Quartet