Below is a selection of music that Peter wrote. You’ll find pieces for a wide variety of instruments and combinations. There are links to recordings of some of the pieces.

If you’d like to find out a bit more of the background to Peter’s work, here are two recent online interviews:    Bachtrack interview    Late Music York interview



Certain works are published by Oriana Publications. 71 Broad Street, Barry. CF62 5AT. Tel: +44 29 2025 4768 / Email:

The Four Minute Opera (The Sands of Time) is available from Banks Music Publications. The Granary, Wath Court, Hovingham, York. YO62 4NN. Tel: +44 1653 628545 / Email:

Orchestral Music & String Orchestra

moon_arkMoon-ark (2013). Solo cello & strings 44221. Duration: 11’. Commissioned by the Lower Machen Festival. Fp. Leonid Gorokhov / Welsh Chamber Players / Peter Esswood, Lower Machen Festival, 25.6.13

Canons for the Longest Day (2010). Strings 44331 & two off-stage violins (see also version for septet under Chamber Music). Duration: 6’. Commissioned by the Lower Machen Festival. Fp. Welsh Chamber Players / Peter Esswood, Lower Machen Festival, 22.6.10 Listen

Serenata III (1999/2003). Strings. Duration: 7’. Fp: London String Soloists. Lower Machen Festival, St Woolos Cathedral, Newport: 3.7.03. See also Chamber Music

Diaphony (1986/7 rev. 1992). Chamber orchestra: 1121 2200, perc, hp & strings. Duration: 18’. Commissioned by the Dartington International Summer School. Fp: Guildhall Strings & North Winds / Grieves Smith, Dartington Hall, 6.8.87

Chamber Music (3-12 Players)

PartrishowPartrishow (2014). fl (db. alto), vln, guit, cb. (instrumentalists double singing bowls) Duration: 50’. Fp: Partrishow Church, Wales: 20.9.14.

footsteps quiet in the shadows (String Quartet No.2) (2012). 2 vln, vla, vc. Duration: 12’. Commissioned by the Monmouth Festival with funds provided by the Arts Council of Wales. Fp: Mavron Quartet, St. Mary’s Church, Monmouth: 23.8.12.

Canons for the Longest Day (2010, rev 2014). Septet: 2 vln, 2 vla, 2 vc, cb. Fp: Soloists from China National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, Vale of Glamorgan Festival: 22.5.15

belliheulogBeiliheulog (2009). Fl, vla, guit (or harp). Duration: 6’. Fp. Still Life with Guitar, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff: 15.9.13

Nocturnes for Wind Quintet (2002). Fl, ob, cl, hn & bsn. Duration: 15’. Fp. Alauna Ensemble, Crwth Concerts, George Hall, Swansea: 28.2.02

robotCheap Labour (1999). 2 euphoniums & 2 tubas. Duration: 4’. Commissioned by the Vale of Glamorgan Festival. Fp: Tubalaté, St. Donats Arts Centre, 5.9.99

Serenata III (1999). Vln, vc, fl, cl, pno (or harp). Duration: 7’. Fp: PM Music Ensemble, Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Cardiff Bay: 20.5.99. See also String Orchestra

hold-not-thy-peaceHold not thy peace and be not still (1997). Fl, vc & pno. Duration: 10’. Commissioned by the Go West Festival. Fp: Nancy Ruffer, Tim Gill & Andrew Ball. Queens Hall, Narberth, 27.9.97. Pub. Oriana  Listen

String Quartet No.1 (1996) 2 vln, vla, vc. Duration: 17’. Commissioned by the Go West Festival with funds provided by the Arts Council of Wales. Fp: Bingham Quartet, Theatre Mwldan, Cardigan, 30.9.96

Old King Cole (1994). Vln, vc, fl, cl, pno. Duration: 11’. Fp: PM Music Ensemble, Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff, 2.12.94. Pub. Oriana  Listen

Bye, baby bunting (1987-93). String Trio. Duration: 15’. Fp: PM Music Ensemble. Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, 7.5.93. Pub. Oriana Listen

Moonsongs (1987-91). Fl, vln, vc & piano. Duration: 15’. Fp: PM Music Ensemble, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, 7.2.92. Pub. Oriana Listen

Borrowed Time (1983-88). Fl, ob, cl, vln, vc, perc & piano. Duration: 9’. Fp: New London Chamber Players / Philip Cashian. University Concert Hall, Cardiff, 9.3.88. Pub. Oriana

String Sextet (1988). 2 vln, 2 va, 2 vc. Duration: 10’

Shifts (1984). Fl. ob. cl, perc (1 player). Duration: 7’. Fp: Ixion. BMIC, London, 9.6.87

Instrumental Music (Solo & Duo)

Cippyn (2015). Piano & electronics. Duration: 9’. Fp: Studio recording by Gordon Honeybourne, York: 25.8.15

veniceEcco Mormorar L’onde (2013). Piano solo. Duration: 6’. Fp. Mark Hutchinson, Late Music Series, York: 7.9.13.

Cairn (2011). Harp (also available in a version for soprano saxophone & cello) Duration: 4’

Epithalamion (2011). Piano solo. Duration: 2’

bayvilBayvil (2011). Piano solo. Duration: 8’. Fp. Ian Pace, Late Music Series, York: 6.8.11

thumbelinaFar down in the forest (2010). Three solo piano pieces for children based on the tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Piano. Duration: 4’

Lullaby (2009). For organ, keyboard or any two appropriate instruments. Duration: 2’

In One Spot (2009). Piano solo. Duration: 3’. Fp: David Appleton, London: 3.5.09

frostSometimes there is a hoar frost… (2008). Guitar. Duration: 4’. Fp. Michael McCartney, Brecon Cathedral, 31.5.10 Listen

celloSuite (2000). Solo cello. Duration: 15’. Commissioned by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust with funds provided by the Arts Council of Wales. Fp: Alice Neary, Ystrad Mynach Music Club: 16.11.00. Pub. Oriana Listen

Prelude & Finale (from Suite for Cello) (2000). Solo cello. Duration: 7’

Ngòmbí Song (1998). Clarinet & piano. Duration: 9’. Fp: Verity Fielding & David Appleton. PM concert, Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea: 7.5.98

So soft this morning, ours (1995). Violin & piano. Duration: 10’. Fp: Michael Rafferty & Andrew Wilson-Dickson, Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Cardiff Bay: 16.9.95. CD: Matthew Jones & Michael Hampton. Welsh Contemporary: Composers of Wales 01

Serenata II (1994). Oboe & piano. Duration: 10’. Fp: Nicholas Williams & David Appleton, Regent Hall, London: 7.6.96. Pub. Oriana

serenataSerenata I (1994). Flute & guitar. Duration 9’. Fp: Lynne Plowman & Sally Hillier. Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Cardiff Bay, 14.10.94 Listen

tangoTango (1993). Piano solo. Duration: 7’. Fp: PM Concert. Andrew Wilson-Dickson, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, 26.6.93 (Also available in a version for two pianos). Pub. Oriana

Variations (1993). Cello & piano. Duration: 8’. Commissioned by Sound Affairs. Fp: Sharon McKinley & David Appleton. Purcell Room, London, 12.6..93

Dumpe (1990). Viola & piano. Duration: 10’. Fp: John Rayson & Gareth Davies. BMIC, London, 5.7.90. Pub. Oriana

bell_patternsBell Patterns (1988). Solo viola. Duration: 5’. Fp: John Rayson. Brighton Festival, 24.5.88

Unison (1986). 2 clarinets. Duration: 3 ‘. Fp. Dartington Summer School, 21.8.86

Stage Works

sands_of_timeThe Sands of Time – An Opera in Four Minutes (1993) Sop/Bar. Chorus of 4 sops. fl. 2 ob. 2 sax. bsn. tpt. perc. (or with piano accomp). Duration: 4’. Commissioned by Cardiff Arts Marketing. Fp. Rhian Owen (sop), Dominic Burns (bar), Chorus and Players of the Welsh College of Music & Drama / Carlo Rizzi. Cardiff City Centre, 27.3.93. Pub. Banks Music Publishing. Listen

Choral Music

Barnacles (2000). Two-part song for children’s voices with piano. Words: Martin Riley. Duration: 3’.

A New Year Carol (1997). Two-part song for children’s voices with piano. Words: Anon. Duration: 4’. Commissioned by Cherry Willingham Comprehensive School, Lincolnshire. Fp: Bishop Grosseteste College Choir / John Banister. St Swithun’s Church, Lincoln, 24.10.97

Now Goeth Sun under Wood (1995). Female chorus (SSA). Words: Anon, Medieval. Duration: 1’. Fp. Composers of Wales concert, Cardiff: 11.5.08

Turtle Soup (1994). Two-part song for children’s voices with piano. Words: Lewis Carroll. Duration: 4’. Commissioned by Cherry Willingham Comprehensive School, Lincolnshire. Fp. Lincoln Cathedral, 14.10.95

Works for Voices

winter_treeThree Winter Haiku (2012). Mezzo-soprano & pno. Words: Francesca Kay. Duration: 4’.

Pillow Songs (2011). Mezzo-soprano & pno. Words: Sei Shōnagon. Duration: 4’. Fp: Shoshana Pavett & Andrew Wilson-Dickson, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff: 28.9.11

puttiAdieu to all Alluring Toys (2011). Baritone & pno. Words: Anon. Duration: 4’. Fp: Paul Carey Jones & Ian Ryan, Surrey University, Guilford: 29.2.12. CD: Mereidian Cat. No. CDE 84614. Paul Carey-Jones (baritone) & Ian Ryan (piano)

Only the Stars Remember (2010). Soprano & pno. Words: Maria Garner. Duration: 4’. Fp: Gail Pearson & Martin Pacey, St Hugh’s Festival, Grimsby: 25.9.10

Three Wang Wei Songs (2009). Soprano (unaccompanied). Words: Wang Wei (Chinese, 8th C.). Duration: 3’. Fp: Sylvia Strand, Cardiff: 28.11.09

Heartfelt Songs (2004). Soprano, fl, cl, vln, vc & pno. Words: Adey Grummet. Duration: 5’. Fp. Adey Grummet & PM Music Ensemble, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff: 16.3.04

autumn_leafUrban Songs (2002). Soprano, fl, cl, vc & pno (Also available for soprano with piano accompaniment). Words: Adey Grummet. Duration: 7’. Fp. Adey Grummet & PM Music Ensemble, Late Music Festival, York: 16.3.02

Near Nicosia, Sicily, July 28, 1943 (1998). Madrigal for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass. Words: Geoff Dyer. Duration: 7’. Commissioned by the Go West Festival with funds provided by the Arts Council of Wales. Fp: Singcircle, cond. Gregory Rose, Theatre Mwldan, Cardigan: 16.10.98

weavingThe House of Alcinous (1997). Mezzo-soprano, vc & pno. Words adapted from Homer’s Odyssey. Duration: 9’. Commissioned by the Sajori Ensemble with funds provided by the Arts Council of Wales. Fp: Sajori Ensemble, St David’s Hall, Cardiff: 18.11.97. Pub. Oriana

Lullaby (1981). Mezzo-soprano & pno. Words: W.H Auden. Duration: 2’

Works with Spoken Text

Terry Dactyl and the Meteor Seven(2014). A performance work for 4-7 year olds. Narrator & brass trio (tpt, hn, & tbn or tuba). Words: Francesca Kay. Duration: 60’. Commissioned by Tŷ Cerdd – Music Centre Wales

head_of_brassThe Head of Brass (2010). Narrator & saxophone quartet (sop, alto, ten & bass). Words: Simon Rees. Duration: 12’. Commissioned by the Lunar Saxophone Quartet with funds provided by the Arts Council of Wales in association with the PRS Foundation. Fp: Lunar Saxophone Quartet, 5.11.10, Wales Millennium Centre. Cardiff. CD: Lunar Saxophone Quartet, Signum Classics SIGCD233. Listen 


cippynCippyn (2015). Double bass and electronics. Duration: 12’. Film by Aaron J Cooper, director Heledd Wyn Hardy with Ashley John Long. (add link to …). Also as an installation for film and double bass. Fp. Atrium, University of South Wales, Cardiff: 4.3.15



Press Reviews

“I was fascinated by Peter Reynolds’s Variations on a theme of Machaut. Rather in the manner of Pirandello’s characters in search of an author, these variations progressed, or should one say groped their way towards the theme. Coming as a denouncement at the end of proceedings the theme created a certain sense of resolution, but thankfully, unlike some of the minimalist pieces whose very repetitiveness is (one presumes unintentionally) soporific, one was still wide awake at the end.” Rian Evans. Welsh Music

“The brevity of Peter Reynolds’s The Sands of Time … did in no way detract from its effect: if anything the reverse … its comic-satire impact was clear and incisive. The version served to highlight the clever libretto by Simon Rees, as well as a certain lyric ‘sharp edge’ which transcends the pastiche elements of the musical style.” A.J.Heward Rees, Welsh Music

“Peter Reynolds’s post-minimalist composition for strings, Canons for the Longest Day, is an ironically short processional built from discrete elements that are consolidated and enriched on route and which has that spare, elegiac quality encountered before in his work.” Nigel Jarrett. South Wales Argus

“The work for violin and piano by Peter Reynolds (So soft this morning, ours) was stimulated by a phrase from Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. The violin spoke at length in diatonic, linear terms with contrasting ornamental sound from the keyboard.” Wynne Lloyd, Welsh Music

“By contrast, Peter Reynolds’s Serenata (1) for flute and guitar moved in a slow arch from a gently expressive opening to a playfully danced interlude and back again, with some carefully pointed changes of harmony to colour the return.” Rian Evans, Western Mail

“Cardiff composer Peter Reynolds … conjured together a magical piece based on the nursery rhyme, Bye, Baby Bunting. Its subtle magic seemed to emerge from nowhere”. South Wales Echo

“Peter Reynolds’s Bye, Baby Bunting was a haunting and evocative exploration of the nursery rhyme, beginning with eerie harmonics far removed form the easy comfort of the traditional tune. It induced a gradually heightening awareness of every fluctuation of sound pitch and rhythm. The ear strained to pick out a familiar interval, a familiar inflection and was somehow gratified with the smallest fragment. The final dying phrases of the work with the ghostly harmonics of the opening was a curious relief.” Rian Evans, Western Mail

“Peter Reynolds’s Moonsongs was the most powerful piece of the first half of the concert: a collection of songs with the singer.” Meuryn Rees. Western Mail

“Peter Reynolds’s Moonsongs is an astringent score, full of this composer’s remarkable details of compositional skill, particularly in the central scherzo.” Welsh Music

“It’s a voyage around operatic history … it’s a great bit of fun … If you have to have opera on a postage stamp, it’s a very pretty postage stamp to have it on.” Norman Lebrecht on The Sands of Time. National Public Radio, New York. March 1993

For more details see: