GHO Music & Film

Guest House Opera

Christopher Wood

Composer and lyricist

Christopher Wood combines an innate affinity for lyricism with an individual approach to harmony and rhythm, marking him out as a modern romantic with a style distinct among most composers working today.

Critics have described his music as ‘exploiting the searing sorrow of chromaticism’ and ‘immediately accessible, yet uncompromisingly modern.’ Christopher Wood’s catalogue of works offers artists, ensembles and television and film producers the opportunity to add some sensuous sounds to their programmes through music which freely crosses the so-called boundaries between tonal and atonal; melodic and impressionistic.

Chamber Music (all lyrics/texts by C. Wood, unless otherwise stated)

String Quartet No.1 (1995) – approx 13’
for 2 violins, viola, and cello

String Quartet No.2 (2020) – approx 10’
for 2 violins, viola, and cello

Conversation Piece (1996) – 5’
for oboe and piano

Conversation Piece (1997) – 5’
for oboe quartet (oboe, violin, viola and cello)

Songs from the Edge (1997) – 6’
song cycle: 4 songs for soprano (or mezz sop) and piano
(From a window, Mother, the Tart’s Song and Nothing)

Scene from a Sad, Sad Story (1998) – 6’
for flute, bassoon and piano

Scene from a Sad, Sad Story (1999) – 6’
for flute, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and piano

Lost in Life (2001) – 4’
Song for soprano and chamber ensemble (fl, clar, ob, hn, bssn, pno, 2vlns, vla, cell)

Portents and Omens (2003) – 4’
For flute, oboe, clarinet, string quartet and piano

Harmony (2007) – 1’ 30”
London 2012 Olympic anthem for solo mezzo soprano and strings

Harmony (2007) – 1’ 30”
for vocal quartet (SATB) or choir and piano/strings

Pastorale (Summer night on the river) (2017)
Song for mezzo soprano and piano

Vocalise in D (2017)
for mezzo soprano and piano

Close his eyes (2016) – 4’ 30” (approx.)
Song for solo soprano, string orchestra, brass quintet and timpani
(added to A Great War Oratorio)

Cello Sonata (2020) – 13’ (approx.)
For cello and piano (3 movements)

Requiem for the twentieth century (1999) – 13’
for solo viola and string orchestra

Triptych (2001) – 13’
For orchestra (2fl, 2ob, 2clar, 2bssn, 4hns, 3tpts, 3tbns, hp, timps, stgs).

Wedding Music Suite (2004) – 9’
for string orchestra and harp

1. March: Adagio – 3’
2. Interlude – 4’
3. Proclamation – 2’

Sea Changes (2013) – 11’
for orchestra (2fl, 2ob, 2clar, bass clar, bssn, 2tpts, 2 hns, 2tbns, timps, perc, celesta, tub bells, stgs)

The Silent Poet (2018) – 5’
for orchestra (fl, ob, cor anglais, clar, bassn, hn, timps, hp, stgs)

The Shrieking Pyre (2019) – 4’
for brass quintet, timps and stgs (reduced version of Dead Man’s Dump)

Choral Music (all texts by C. Wood unless otherwise stated)

Peace is rolling like a river (2000) – 8’
for choir (S1,S2,A,T,B) and organ

Peace is rolling like a river (2010) – 10’
for choir (S1,S2,A,T,B), brass quintet (2 tpts, hn, tbn, tba), organ and strings

Revised versions. Completed August 2010 and November 2015.

Harmony (2007) – 1’ 30”
for choir (SATB) and strings

I have a dream (2012) – 13’
For solo mezzo soprano, choir (SATB) and string orchestra

Tutu Ubuntu (2012-)
A work in progress, premiered in the presence of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

5 Sea Songs (2013) – 18’ (approx.)
for vocal quartet or choir (SATB) and piano:

  1. Full fathom five
  2. Deep in the black of the sea
  3. Sally on the shore
  4. Sea of TranquilityDrifting (from Chains! – optional)

A World War One Oratorio (2015) – 30’ approx. plus readings
For solo soprano, choir (SATB), string orchestra, brass quintet, timpani and organ

Seven movements:

  1. Introduction – Let slip the Dogs of War (Words by Jessie Pope, William Shakespeare and Christopher Wood)
  2. Dead Man’s Dump (Words by Christopher Wood, after Isaac Rosenberg)
  3. My Son Jack – solo soprano, choir and orchestra (Words by Christopher Wood, after a poem by Rudyard Kipling)
  4. Green Grows the Day (TTBB)
  5. Close his eyes – solo soprano and orchestra
  6. The Last Post/My Son Jack – reprise
  7. Finale: Peace is rolling like a river (Words by Christopher Wood and from Ecclesiastes 3)

Opera/Music Theatre/Cabaret (all texts by C. Wood)

Carter in Crisis (1989) – 13’
A chamber opera for solo (high) baritone and piano

The Tart and the Princess (2000) – 12’
A chamber opera for solo soprano and piano

Chains! (1986- 2019) – 1hr 45’
Rock opera in 2 acts for soloists, chorus and orchestra

Chains! – Concert Suite of Songs and Scenes (2011) – 35’
For mezzo soprano, tenor, baritone and bass baritone soloists; plus choir, orchestra: (trumpet, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums; stgs).

A Quickie with Quentin (2008) – 12’
Three cabaret songs for solo tenor/high baritone, with piano
Based on raconteur Quentin Crisp: Risqué old Quentin from Cheam; The life of a bubble; If at first you don’t succeed…

No Way Out! (2009) – 44’
A trilogy of chamber operas for soprano, tenor and (high) baritone, with piano – or a single chamber opera in 3 acts)

  1. The Tart and the Princess (for solo soprano) – 12’
  2. The Dinner Party (for soprano, tenor and high baritone) – 19’
  3. Carter in Crisis (for solo high baritone) – 13’

A Giant on the Line (1997) (Story/text by Martin Mooney)
Musical story for narrator, trumpet, 2 clarinets and percussion

Music for jazz orchestra

Message from the Guest (up-tempo jazz signature theme)
Memo from Moro (swing/rock)
Restaurant des Moulins (bossa nova ballad)
Exodus (arrangement of the film score theme)
Sad Old Sunday (jazz ballad)
Peter Gunn (arrangement of the Henry Mancini movie theme)

Waiting* (cool jazz)
On the Road – Again! (jazz rock)
Restaurant des Moulins (up tempo Latin)
Film Music 1* (funk rock)
Film Music 2 (slow rock)

Sandy (with the laughing eyes) (pop)
Axe Man (rock band and orchestra)
Sitting here in the park (jazz ballad)
Worlds on worlds (folk pop)
Sunset (jazz ballad)
Autumn’s Wine* (ballad)
Love Song (folk pop)
Suddenly (pop)
Marcia (pop ballad)

Love, reach out! (pop)
McAlester (blues rock)
Chicago (blues rock)
Something is wrong (pop)
Black Eyes (rock)
Everybody’s gotta get hurt sometime (blues/ballad)
Feels like it’s gonna rain (country)
It’s a mean old scene (slow blues)
(Take me on your) Caravan* (rock)

Fool that you are* (bossa nova)
Give me some love* (blues)
Sleepy Town (jazz ballad)
Walk with me (bossa nova)
Evermore (up tempo Latin)
For all this time (acoustic jazz)
Something’s moving (acoustic jazz)
Eagle (adaptation of Worlds on Worlds)
How strange this affair (jazz ballad)

Chains! (title song – ensemble rock)
Get inside! (rock)
Just another fading star (heavy rock)
Hey Old Man (ensemble rock)
Ooh, that livin’ (rock)
Turned my radio on* (rock ballad)

If we’re ever gonna reach that heaven* (ballad)
I’ve been deceived (rock ballad)
Prophet of wisdom* (rock)
Drifting* (slow/up-tempo rock)
Life’s a little harder now* (rock ballad)
Confused!* (funk rock)

The things you never said* (jazz ballad)
Prisoners all are we* (ensemble rock)
(Take me on your) Caravan* (rock)
Seduction of the Jailor* (funk rock instrumental)*
March to the Cage* (funk rock instrumental)*

*= demo recording available

Symphony (2011-)
For large orchestra: 2fls (one doubling piccolo), 2 obs, 2 clars, 2 bssns, 4 hns, 3 tpts’ 3tbns, tba, 3 timps, pno, hp, stgs; plus mezzo soprano soloist and SATB choir

Cabaret – for soloists
The Evil Doctor Zog (working title) – chamber opera in a ‘horror’ genre.