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Fantasia on Psalm 130:

The Fantasia on Psalm 130 is dedicated to Philip Tordoff MA FRCO, currently Organist of Halifax Parish Church, a position which he has held for over thirty years. The piece is based on two contrasting Anglican chants he composed for Psalm 130. The Phrygian mode chant is quoted directly, with the kind permission of the composer.

The work falls into two distinct sections which are musically and emotionally complete opposites. Each section is self contained and the sections could be played individually if so desired. The first section is pensive and anxious. The words "If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss" call forth quasi Messiaen harmonies and textures.The second section is vibrant and positive and attempts to capture the unbridled joy of "with him is plenteous redemption." "He shall redeem Israel from all his sins" prompted a leap forward into the New Testament and the quotation of the melody associated with the carol "Tomorrow shall be my dancing day".The musical style is intended to be vivid and forthright, hopefully capturing something of the fervour of the author of the text.




Peover Saturdays:

Peover Saturdays offers something quite different.... Among several popular wedding hymn tunes that are included, the syncopated version of Slane is a pleasure. Strongly recommended.

(Church Music Quarterly, June 2005)

"Draws on a variety of styles, including jazz and several popular wedding hymn tunes make cameo appearances in the final movement" (Animus News)




More Peover Saturdays:

The five movements are: Trumpet Tune, Wedding Vows (for manuals), In sickness and in health (a delightful prelude on Crimond ), Love Song and Dancing down the aisle (in which Praise my soul, the King of heaven and another highly popular wedding hymn make cameo appearances).

(Animus News)




Sonata for Organ:

"A substantial work of high quality" (Organists' Review, November 2003)

"I was bowled over by its colour, sparkle and rhythmic vitality" (Animus News)



St. Deiniol's Well

"Philip Underwood follows on the success of his two collections of Peover Saturdays with this highly colourful and dramatic musical portrait of the sixth-century Bishop of Bangor. The piece is unashamedly programmatic and a note is provided by the composer. A brand-new work which will not disappoint Philip's many fans in North Wales and beyond!" (Animus News)

"Don't be fooled by the prevalence of two-part writing. Based on a Welsh legend, which the composer retells (and which is essential for understanding the music), this is a complex and often harsh piece, which will need much study and several hearings to be fully appreciated."

(Church Music Quarterly December 2006) (click to enter)


Written specifically for the choir of St John's, Brooklands, Sale, Manchester; the eclectic range of styles is intended to make them appealing to all age groups. Some are written in a jazzy style to satisfy our younger members. You will find these carols very useful if you have limited male resources as there is single mens' part.

The texts were kindly written by four members of the congregation who responded to my call for new poems on the Epiphany. They are Irene and Rex Collins, Wendie Lansdale and Brenda Shields.





Brother Cadfael is the fictional main character in a series of historical murder mysteries written by linguist-scholar Edith Pargeter under the name "Ellis Peters". The character of Cadfael himself is a Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in Shropshire in the first half of the 12th Century. The work is largely based on melodies of the 12th and 13th centuries reworked in a contemporary musical idiom. A persistent feature is the use of a leitmotif based on the letters of the name CADFAEL. Thanks are due to Brother Cadfael Products for permission to use the book titles which head each movement.





The chorale "Vom Himmel Hoch" is central to the work but other familiar Christmas tunes from around the world put in more or less recognisable appearances. The piece would sound equally good on a modern or neo-classical instrument.




A Brooklands Wedding Bouquet

“Wedding congregations offer a unique challenge to the organist. Music is required with tunes that ‘granny’ will recognise in a style to satisfy the ‘coolest’ net surfer. Hopefully, this lively set of pieces goes some way to meeting that need and proves, yet again, what a vibrant instrument the organ is.

Church Music Quarterly, June 2008:

"Three cheers for Philip Underwood's delightfully irreverent and sanity-restoring Bouquet. I found myself chuckling whilst playing, and wondering how soon I could give it an airing. Worth every penny!"




Daniel's Half Dozen

Written for my Son, Daniel, this set of six pieces aims to introduce some of the main colours of the organ. Whilst technically easy, they are attractive and exciting and would be particularly suitable for Weddings or Recital use on any two manual instrument.




Norfolk Folksong Suite:

"There is a Grainger-like vigour to these settings which is highly stimulating and there is no doubt that this work would be very effective in a recital." (Geoffrey Atkinson MA ARCO)




Lakeland Sketches:

These 3 pieces were composed for a recital given in July 2004 as part of the 37th Season of "Music for a Summer Evening at Hawkshead" held in the delightful Parish Church. The pieces are a highly poetic attempt to capture the flavour of the Lakeland scenery and people.

Church Music Quarterly, June 2006:

"The pieces are well written and of considerable substance.........These pieces are worth learning"




Seven Folksong Fancies:

Conceived in honour of one of Norfolk’s most celebrated folk singers, Harry Cox, these sparkling movements based on traditional tunes are a real delight. This is especially true of the concluding Toccata where Percy Grainger may be seen to shake hands with John Adams, in a splendid perpetuum mobile. (Geoffrey Atkinson MA ARCO)




Triumphal March "Escafeld":

Written for the organ of Sheffield Cathedral, the work broadly follows the plan of an Elgar Pomp and Circumstance March. The quiet middle section is developed from an original Anglican Chant, whilst the Fanfare sections take their inspiration from the spatial effects possible on the organ at Sheffield Cathedral.