From David Fisher, Chairman of Central Composers´ Alliance:

On the evening of 5th April 2014, Bob Ramskill, Peter Witchell and I attended the world première of our Fit for a King variations at the splendid venue of The Ark, St Laurence Church, Alvechurch, Worcestershire. We three composers were pleased with the very warm welcome we received and the performance of the piece which was the final item in a fascinating and often virtuosic cross-section of music for ensembles of three to five players. The standard was phenomenal and the whole concert was much enjoyed by the appreciative audience.

For me, and this is a personal point, the best pieces before Fit for a King were the Malcolm Arnold Divertimento for flute, oboe and clarinet; a clever transcription of Warlock’s Capriol Suite for wind quintet and Holst’s Wind Quintet in A flat which, as a fairly early work for Holst, showed very little of the genius that was to surface later in The Planets suite or The Hymn of Jesus.

Fit for a King was quite different in many respects from the studio recording of the work which is available on the home page and elsewhere on this site. It is inevitable that in a live recital there proved to be an organic element to the performance allowing for the acoustic and other elements which did not occur in a strict tempo-driven studio recording. Some movements were faster and more vividly dramatic whilst others were slower and revelled in the melodic or harmonic nuances of the individual variations. What cannot be disputed is that the quintet at the end of a strenuous programme gave the work its due. I am very glad that I was  given permission by the performers to video it on my iPhone so that each of the movements can be heard separately on the pages of each composer.

Theme - Robert Ramskill

Variation 1 - Peter J Witchell

Variation 2 - Adrian Woolliscroft

Variation 3 - Margaret Vickery

Variation 4 - Colin Touchin

Variation 5 - Martin Watson

Variation 6 - John Middleton

Variation 7 - David Fisher

Variation 8 - John MacDonald Mackenzie

Variation 9 - Sonja Grossner

Variation 10 - Philip G Joy

Variation 11 - Kenneth Gange

Variation 12 - Clement Jewitt

Variation 13 - Peter J Witchell

Variation 14 - Kenneth Gange

From the feature about the studio recording:

Variations on the famous Welsh melody Sosban Fach written in celebration of the birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge, 22nd July 2013 is respectfully dedicated to HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and HRH Prince George of Cambridge.

When the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy was announced, the Chairman of the Central Composers’ Alliance, David Fisher, resolved to bridge the royal generations by inviting his colleagues in the Alliance contribute to a joint work on a famous Welsh theme to acknowledge the lineage of the Princes of Wales fromDafydd ap Llywelyn to HRH Prince Charles. As this heredity will continue to HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and then HRH Prince George of Cambridge, this work is therefore respectfully dedicated to all three generations.

The melody of Sosban Fach was chosen by David Fisher as one of the most famous of all Welsh tunes. It hasn’t been chosen for its subject matter, though it is originally a nursery song, but for the popularity in the Principality as one of the most often sung songs in the Welsh language. It is best known for its association with Llanelli Rugby Union Club and by internationally renowned performers such as Only Boys Aloud. Robert Ramskill arranged the theme before the composers’ contributions were collected over several months. Dr Ramskill was also entrusted to the difficult task of editing and ordering the pieces for publication.

If there are any wind quintets out there who are interested in performing all or any of this exciting work please CONTACT US.


NOTE TO PERFORMERS: Should this piece [at 22 minutes] be too long to play as a set, it can either be performed in two halves: Theme & Variations 1-7 in the first half of a concert and Theme & Variations 8-14 in the second. Alternatively, you may play the Theme and any seven of the variations in any order you wish.