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An overview of my published music
The first enthusiasm of my musical life was the making of clavichords and harpsichords, so it was natural that I became obsessed by Early Music.
My first three Anthologies of English (and Welsh) Music reflects my identification with the poetry of Dowland, Peerson, Purcell and Croft and, as I progressed with the harp, with searches for original harp music. John Parry, the famous blind harpist, wrote much distinguished music for the Triple Harp and his sonata in D major is a fine example.
In the Romantic Era, I was seduced by the Nocturnes of John Field and their extraordinary influence on the great composers who came after him. Chopin, Liszt and of course Parish Alvars who left an important legacy of poetic and virtuosic music to the harpist.
I have always been inspired by traditional folk songs and love setting them in guises which reflect the words. We have only one verse of "Summer is icumen in" and its landscape reminded me of a Breughel painting, so, when the first verse is repeated, it is accompanied by bagpipes and the sounds of drunken revelry! However, the cuckoo has the last word.
It was thrilling to find the Harp Trio of J.C.Bach and rare that the solo harp part was written expressly for the instrument. It was written for Edward Jones, a Welsh harpist who was living in London. It was written for the single action harp (not the Welsh Triple) as the wonderful Fanny Burney describes in one of her letters.
My Petite Suite was written in Paris, where, as a student I was completely frustrated to be kept on scales and studies for one year and so I have been composing ever since. Now, the work is played by harpists all over the world and the last movement, Fire Dance, is a popular favourite.
The Dance Suite has four movements which are also suitable for 'encores'- The Bolero having a similar sultry atmosphere as Salome's "Dance of the Seven Veils" by Richard Strauss.
Spanish Music has also been one of my great passions and so I transcribed two of my favourite Dances from Falla's "Three Cornered Hat" Ballet and the harp is rather a good substitute for the guitar.
I was so angry and upset when we went to War in Iraq and the subsequent suffering because of the Asian Tsunami that this Passacaglia is a prayer for all those who were affected.
"A Welsh Landscape" was a 'thank you' to Rosalind Sharples, painter, poet and harpist. It is a short Suite which incorporates "David of the White Rock" and "Miller's Song". There are also three Sea Interludes.
Victor Salvi commissioned the "Concertino Pastorale", a work which is scored for the same combination as Ravel's "Introduction and Allegro". It is written in a piquant neo-classical style with a haunting and poetic slow movement.
The seeds of my "Concerto Grosso" for two harps and strings were sown at Marriel Nordmann's domain in France, The Chateau de Courtempierre and is subtitled the "Courtempierre Concerto". It is in a 'Faux Baroque' style and was written for the American Harp Duo, "Tick Tock".
J.C.Bach's delicious Concerto in G (Sinfonia Concerto) was performed by the harpist wife of Louis XVI's Valet at the "Concerts Spirituels," in Paris.
Florent Schmidts strange and beautiful work for Chromatic Harp and String Quartet was worthy of a transcription for pedal harp, which I did for Salabert, the french music publisher.
The Six Easy Pieces (for harp and piano) are extracted from my "Complete Method for Harp" and a useful addition to the beginners repertoire. The Method was written when I was far too young- but, fortuneately I did not say too much. The volume is stuffed with many useful exercises and observations.
The Monograph on Ravel's "Introduction and Allegro" is a detailed overview of the whole work. Ravel himself stated that the work could be improved with performances with string orchestra! This information will help harpists to feel less guilty when performing it with a bigger body of strings.
Four Anthologies of English Music - Stainer
Four Folk Songs - Stainer
Sonata VI for Harp, Violin and Cello, J.C.Bach - Stainer and Bell
Petite Suite - U.M.P.
Dance Suite - Salvi
Three Pieces Manuel
de Falla - J + W Chester
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Adlais
Passacaglia In Memoriam Tsunami - Adlais
A Welsh Landscape - Adlais
A Garland for the Harp - Adlais
Concertino Pastorale for harp with flute, clarinet, string quartet (or string orchestra) - Salvi
Concerto Grosso for two harps and string quartet (string orchestra or piano) - Salvi.
Sinfonia Conceto - for harp and strings J.C. Bach - Salvi
Harp Quintet (Harp and String Quartet) Florent Schmitt - Salabert
Six Easy Pieces - Boosey and Hawkes.
Complete Method for Harp - Boosey and Hawkes.
MONOGRAPH - Analysis and History of Ravel's Introduction and Allegro.
The David Watkins Collection - David Watkins / Creighton's Collection
First Easy-Medium Grade Volume - The Clive Morley Collection
Medium-Difficult Grade Volume - The
Clive Morley Collection
Reviews of Published Music
SOME REVIEWS AND LETTERS - on Compositions and Arrangements
Quarterly Journal of Music Library Association, Havard University
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American Harp Journal
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To download a file to
"The Bell" Magazine (Stainer and Bell) Summer 2000
"Regarding the Western Harp repertoire,
few living musicians have done more to alert our attention
to its still untrapped richness than Watkins himself. A
tireless editor, arranger and, composer, he is also compiler
of Stainer and Bell's four volume "Anthology of English
Music for the Harp"
"Once again I congratulate you
on your very beautiful Concertino Pastorale, Camilla and
myself enjoyed tremendously your music and your magnificent