My Diary

,  September  Diary


                                           - Organ recitalist and accompanist

                                           - Conductor and Choir-trainer

                                           - Pianist and harpsichordist 


Christopher plays the 4-manual Hill organ (1901) at St Margaret's Ilkley and directs the choir in a full programme of liturgical music every Sunday at 10.45 High Mass and at the 18.30 Choral evensong. (Evening prayer is said during August.) Details can be found on the monthly Music Schedule, which is published on the St Margaret's website:

Every month Christopher or a guest organist gives a half-hour recital at St Margaret's at lunchtime on the first Friday of each month, starting at 12.30 pm. October 6th has Hindemith's 1st Sonata, alongside music by Jongen and Dupre. November 3rd features Alcock's fine Introduction and Passacaglia, and my own Miniature Suite from the early 1980s. On December 1st Bach's 'Great' C major prelude and fugue is followed by three items from Vierne's 2nd book of 'Pièces de fantaisie', finishing with the astonishing Toccata. Graham Gribbin, of Halifax Minster, is coming to give the  recital on January 5th, and will pkay music by Franck (Choral no 3), Boellmann (Suite Gothique), Guilmant and Whitlock. The February recital (Friday 3rd) will be all Bach (Pastorale, Sei gegrusset variations and Passacaglia); March 3rd the first two movements of Leighton's Missa de Gloria and three of Howells's Six Pieces (1940).    See the church website for full programme details of forthcoming recitals:   

Other future engagements: St Giles, Pontefract, Feb. 9th at 1 pm; Halifax Minster, May 31st, also 1 pm (I think!) 


The three Amphion recordings of The Music of Christopher Rathbone are still available: vol 1(2000) includes the Cello Sonata op 52, the Sonatina op 64 and the Stations of the Cross op 77; vol 2 (2002) has the song cycle The Turning Year op 45 and Scenes and Antiphons op 80; vol 3 (2005) includes the Requiem op 92 and two sets of organ variations, op 95 & 96.

'The Chamber Music of Christopher Rathbone' is a Meridian CD. Recordings from 2012 by 'Daniel's Beard' with the composer (organ) include the Terzetto op 55, Elegy op 56, Clarinet Quintet op 61, Bagatelles op 67, Organ Quartet op 100, Tarn Hows op 101, Daniel's Razor op 117 and Horn Quintet op 120. 

A CD produced by Bradford Cathedral Choir in 2011 includes the original 2-part version of the Hymn to the Trinity from op 104.

A CD was produced by Stewart Smith of Clematis Records in 2013 in aid of the Bradford Cathedral Organ Fund, of organ music by César Franck. The three Chorales and the Fantaisie in C are played by Christopher at St Margaret's and the Cathedral. Stewart also records nearly all of our recitals at St Margaret's, so there are 'private' recordings of most of Christopher's organ works, as well as much other repertoire available through Stewart (via CBR.)

A CD (The Power of Music) features all the St Margaret's choirs, recorded in 2013. It includes the church choir singing my own Nuptial Song op 105 of 2005 (with Nadine Wharton, cello) and God of New Beginnings op 118.

Paul Hale (until recenly Rector Chori at Southwell Minster) has recorded the Southwell Suite op 113 on a 2013 Oxrecs CD, having played the piece nationwide in recitals over the past few years. The Organists' Review described the suite as 'varied and colourful', and the disc was also reviewed favourably by Gramophone (May 2014) and Cathedral Music (the journal of the Friends of Cathedral Music.) I still have a few copies of this disc available. PH recently played the Suite at the Scottish Federation of Organists' conference in Aberdeen, and a paragraph from the local critic, which was reproduced in the Organists' Review, read as follows: 'The Hymn Tune 'Southwell' was used to fine effect here, embellished in many surprising and effective ways. The opening Fantasia was episodic, the Larghetto smoothly and continuously flowing, the Allegretto grazioso was light and splendidly playful, the Adagio was harmonically rich and the Toccata, with its short minor interlude, was absolutely splendid.' I played the Suite in my May recital this year.

A new CD of Organ Music for Advent  has been produced by Stewart Smith of Clematis Records, mostly recorded in live recitals at St Margaret's (over 79 minutes music!) and is available now, at £10 - proceeds to the St Margaret's Music Fund.


 Much of Christopher's music which has not been published by Banks or by BJM is now available in self-published editions, type-set by the composer on Sibelius 7.5. These include: 

Organ music: 

Paean op 26; Miniature Suite op 39; Fantasia on 'The Old Bath Road' op 43

'King Lear' fantasia op 51 (1990) 

Sonatina op 64; Toccata on 'Puer nobis' op 71

The Stations of the Cross op 77

Scenes and Antiphons for Advent op 80

Meanwood Suite op 83

Variations on 'Richmond' op 91; 'Dundee' op 95

Seven Short Pieces op 107

Baker's dozen of hymn-based works op 109

'Southwell' Suite op 113 (revised 2016)

Wantage Suite op 131

Prelude and fugue op 128 & Passacaglia and fugue op 135

Fantasy for a dancing queen op 136

Two little chorale preludes op 137


The setting of Sorley's 'East Kennett Church at Sunset' op 124 

Song cycles: Palestine Songs op 97; 'The Turning Year' op 45 (16 songs); 'She' op 89; and Three Songs of C.S.Lewis op 88. 

Chamber music: (parts also available)

Horn sonata op 4

Cello sonata op 52 

Violin sonata op 54

Elegy op 56; and Bagatelles op 67 for cello and piano

Clarinet Quintet op 61; and Clarinet Trio op 63 (Suite: Aire and Wharfe) 

Organ quartet op 100 (Organ, vn, va, vc)

Tarn Hows op 101 (Vn, vc, org)

Sextet 'Daniel's Razor' op 117 (Cl, hn, vn, va, vc, pi) 

Horn Quintet op 120 (hn, vn, 2 va, vc)

Piano quartet op 122 (still unperformed)

Andante cantabile for viola, cello & piano op 125

Phrygian Suite for viola and piano op 129 

Wind Quintet op 132 and  Berceuse op 134 (Two Trumpets, org.)

Choral music: 

Carols 'Easter' op 130 and 'Blessed be that Lady Bright' op 82 and an arrangement of the C.S.Lewis song 'The Nativity' (op 88 no 2)

Two Short Prayers op 133 (Choristers' prayer; 'Music')

Anthems 'The House of God' op 76; 'Out of the Deep' op 79; 'A New Commandment' op 18 (for our wedding in 1969) and 'Prayer of St Richard of Chichester' op. 138 (2017) 

Responses for unacc. ATB (2015)

all type-set, and available on pdf from the composer, by return of E-mail.

There is also an arrangement of 'Were you there...?' for SAT/B and piano/organ written for the choir of St John's Batheaston, plus arrangements for St Margaret's Choir (SATB/Org.) of Amazing grace, I vow to thee my country and Barbara Streisand's 'Evergreen', also 'We three kings' (1998), 'Silent night', 'People look East' and 'Cranbrook' ('While Shepherds watched'). There is also a new gala descant for 'O for a thousand tongues' (Lyngham) with trumpet!

                  Last edited 13.ix.17  -  CBR