David Bednall - Composer, Organist and Pianist

“One of the challenges for any contemporary composer is to discover a compositional style and language which has a distinct nature. The radical and far-reaching changes in 20th century music have brought us to a point where one might question what remains to be done. This, perhaps, has particular relevance to the continued use of tonality as a compositional force. My belief, which has been demonstrated by many composers since the advent of atonality, is that the tonal, or at least the poly-tonal world, is far from exhausted. What I admire most in the work of other composers, and have used as the main ingredients for my own compositions, are colour and texture. I believe these to be essential elements in establishing mood and atmosphere, and crucial in any successful and reflective setting of a text.”

David Bednall’s compositional language is a result of a number of diverse influences. His love of late-romantic and 20th music is very apparent, as is his interest in emotive and evocative effects to communicate the text fully to listeners. Much of his recent music has been for choirs and his exceptionally wide field of musical tastes combined with considerable experience in the Cathedral Choral Tradition make for an exciting and reinvigorating approach to liturgical choral writing. Major inspirations include R. Strauss, Puccini, Ravel, Vaughan Williams, Howells and Cochereau. However his writing is no pastiche of these styles, but a distinctive and varied synthesis of these harmonic and rhetorical characteristics. Within his distinctive harmonic language there is considerable variety, from dense and evocative mysticism to innocent exuberance to timeless serenity. He is always interested in finding something distinctive and new in texts while never resorting to mere novelty or effect.

Copies of all works are available to purchase direct from the composer. Please click here to contact him.


“The Wells Service” (2005) (SSAATTBB, Organ)

  • Jubilate

  • Benedictus

Hail, Gladdening Light (2006) (SSSAATTBB) (Published by Faber Music)

Come, Holy Ghost (2002) (TTBB, Organ) (Published by Novello and Company)

“The Gloucester Service” (2001) (SSAATTBB, Organ)

  • Magnificat

  • Nunc Dimittis

Douai Mass “Lux et Origo” (2005) (SATB with occasional divisions)

Easter Alleluia (2005) (SSAATTBB, Organ) (Published by Faber Music)

Adagio for Organ (2002)

The above works have been recorded by the Choir of Wells Cathedral (Directed by Matthew Owens, Organ David Bednall) on Hail, gladdening light, Regent Records REGCD247.

Missa Sancti Pauli – Messe Solennelle for St Paul’s Cathedral, London (2007) (SSAATTBB, Organ)

Behold, O God Our Defender – In Memoriam September 11th, 2001 (2001) (SSAATTBB)

Everyone Sang (Words by Siegfried Sassoon) (2007) (SATB (occasional divisions), Organ) (Published by Boosey and Hawkes)

Oh Jesu, Victim Blessed (2002) (SSAATTBB, Organ)

Psalm 150 – for All Saints’ Northampton (2006) (SSATB, Organ) (Published by Faber Music)

O Come, Let Us Sing – (2006) (SATB or Unison, Organ) (Published OUP)

"The Wells Service" (2008) (SSAATTBB)

  • Magnificat

  • Nunc Dimittis

  • Cantate Domino

  • Deus misereatur

The Souls of the Righteous (2008) (SATB (occasional divisions)) (Published by Faber Music)

The above works have been recorded by the Choir of Wells Cathedral (Directed by Matthew Owens, Organ - Jonathan Vaughan) on Flame Celestial, Regent Records REGCD320.

Requiem (2008) (SSA, Viola, Organ)

Let all the world (2008) (SSAA, Organ) (Published by Boosey and Hawkes)

Salvator Mundi (2008) (SA (occasional divisions), Organ) (Published by Faber Music)

O Come, Let Us Sing – (2006) (SATB or Unison, Organ) (Published OUP)

The above works have been recorded by The Schola Cantorum of St Mary's Calne with Edward Whiting (Director), Philip Dukes (Viola) and David Bednall (Organ) on Regent Records REGCD327

Other works

If ye love me (2003) (SATB) (Published by Faber Music)

Carlisle Benedictus (2004) (SATB, Organ)

The Promise – Tenor and Violoncello (2006)

Missa Brevis for Douai Abbey (2006) (SATB, Organ)

Rejoice in the Lord O ye righteous (2007) (SATB, Organ)

Salve Regina (2007) Gregorian Paraphrase in homage to Jean Langlais (SSATB)

Sonnet 98 (William Shakespeare) (2007) (For Opus Anglicanum) (ATTBB)
Missa XVII (2007) Gregorian alternatim mass for Advent and Lent - (SATB, Organ)

Lord, I am not haughty (2007) (SATB, Organ)

From Heaven Above to Earth I come (2007) (SSAATTBB)

The Passion According to St Matthew (2008) (Soprano, Treble, ATB, Org, Org)

Put out into the deep for Opus Anglicanum (2008)

The Argument of his Book (Madrigal) (2008) (SSAATTBB)

Iubilum (2008) (Organ Solo)

The Law of the Lord (2008) Short Anthem or Introit (SATB (occasional divisions))

A Hymn of George Bell (2008) (SATB, Organ)

Missa de Angelis (2008) (Gregorian Alternatim Mass) (SATB)

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis "The Sherborne Service" (2009) (TTBB, Organ)

Trio for Organ, Clarinet and Basson (2009)

  • Prelude

  • Adagio

  • Dance

I am the light of the World (2009) (SATB (occasional divisions), Organ)

Chanson d'Amour (2009) (Clarinet and Piano)

Walter Hussey Festival Mass (2009) (SATB, Organ) Walter Hussey Centenary Commission

Aspire to God my Soul (2009) (SATB) World Premiere as above 

A Song for St Cecilia's Day, 1687 (SATB with very occasional divisions, Organ or Organ, Brass and Percussion)

Magna voce cane et magno cum jubilo (2009) (Organ)

The Lord is King (2009) (SATB, Organ)

The 2 works above were commissioned to mark the dedication of the rebuilt Lewis organ in the church

The Saint Mary's Cathedral Centenary Eucharist (2009) (SATB and/or Congregation, Organ)

Festival Te Deum (2009) (SSAATTBB, Organ or Organ, Brass and Percussion)

O lux beata Trinitas (2010) (SATB (occasional divisions), Organ)

Fanfare - Processional (2010) (Organ) (Published by Novello and Company as part of the Organists Charitable Trust Little Organ Book)

Never was so much (2010) (SATB (very occasional divisions), Organ)

How Sleep the Brave (2010) (SATB (optional unison), Organ, Violoncello (optional))

Rise up, my love – Wedding Anthem (2010) (SATB (occasional divisions), Organ, Trumpet (optional))

Rhapsody for Organ (2010) - World Premiere 24th October 2010, 4.45pm, Sebastian Thomson - Organ

St Mary's Service (2010) – Magnificat and Nunc dimittis for Upper Voices for St Mary's, Calne

Noe, noe – Carol (2010) (SATB (occasional divisions), Organ) (Published OUP)

The Sea is Calm Tonight (2011) – Song cycle (Full orchestra, Tenor)

Pater superni luminis (Anthem for St Mary Magdalene) (2011) (SSAATTBB)

The Seventh Angel (2011) (SATB (optional unison), Organ, Trumpet (optional))

Fanfare on the Name of JEHAN ALAIN for 2 organists (2011)

Welcome All Wonders - A Christmas Cantata (2011) (Choir, Organ, Trumpet) (Published by Faber Music)

I. Prelude  II. Alleluia  III. A Virgin Shall Conceive  IV. Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour   V. Today is the Beginning of our Salvation  VI. Oh! little blade of grass  VII. Journey to Bethlehem and Hodie Christus natus est  VIII. I saw a stable  IX. Shepherds, rejoice!  X. See how from far, upon the eastern road  XI. Tribus miraculis ornatum  XII. Slaughter of the Innocents  XIII. But peaceful was the night  XIV. Ave maris stella  XV. In the beginning was the Word

Toccata on 'Aberystwyth' (2012) (Organ) (Published OUP)

Jubilate for Christ Church, Swindon (2012) (SATB, Organ, Viola)

The Sherborne Mass (2012) (SATB, Organ)

The Frost Is Here - Winter Song Cycle for High Voice (2012)

  I. Requiescat (Wilde) II. Birds at Winter Nightfall (Hardy) III. The Darkling Thrush (Hardy) IV. The Oxen (Hardy) V. The frost is here (Tennyson)

The Dayspring from on High (2013) (ATTBB) for Opus Anglicanum

Ode on St Cecilia's Day (2013) (SATB (occasional division), Organ)

The Phoenix (2013), (Violin and Organ)

Prelude on O Little Town of Bethlehem (Forest Green), (2013), (Organ) (Published OUP)

Te lucis ante terminum  (2013), (SATB, Tenor Solo) - Short Gregorian Introit (Published OUP)

BC:AD (SATB) - Carol to mark the 10th Anniversary of the death of John Sanders (Words by U.A. Fanthorpe) (Published OUP)

Meditation on Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (2013) (Organ) (Published OUP)

Three Festival Anthems (2014), (SATB, Organ)

              I. Oh beat and pause II. Eternal God, who sets the way before us (Introit and Anthem) III.The Day Thou Gavest

Meditation on The Passion Choral (2014) (Organ) (Published OUP)

Ach Herre Gott, mich treibt die Not (2014) (Organ)

Gopsal (2014) (Organ)

Three Songs of Remembrance (2014) (SATB with divisions) - Recorded by Sospiri as part of their A Multitude of Voices Project and Published by Boosey and Hawkes

I. 1914 IV: The Dead (Rupert Brooke) II. Lights Out (Edward Thomas)
III. May, 1915 (Charlotte Mew)

Lullaby for Alexandra (2014) (Piano)

Romance for Zara (2014) (String Quartet)

First Light (2014) (SATB)

Alleluya, A New Work is Come On Hand (2014) (SATB, Organ) (Published OUP)

Three Songs of Love (2015) (SSAATTBB) (Published by Boosey and Hawkes)

I. First Love (John Clare) II. Thought you are in your shining days & The Cloths of Heaven (W.B. Yeats) III. Then and Now (John McCrae)

Stabat Mater (2015) (SSAA, Violin, Organ)

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day (2015) (SSAATTBB) (Published OUP)

Whispers of the Garden - Song Cycle for High Voice (2015)

  I. To a Child Dancing in the Wind (Yeats) II. The Rose of Peace (Yeats) III. Green are the Summer Meadows (Wilde) IV. To my Wife (Wilde) V. For in my heart these fancies rise - The Songs I had (Wilde -Gurney)

Berceuse on Charity (2015) (Organ) (Published OUP)

Ave Maria (2015) (S, Violin, Organ) (Published OUP)

Lux orta est iusto (2015) (40-part motet - 8 x SATBB)

A Wedding Prayer (2015) (Soprano or Tenor, Piano or Organ)

Sonata for Trumpet and Organ (after the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyim) (2015)

Tota pulchra es (2015) (SSATB)

Come, my Way (2015) (SATB (very occasional optional divisions), Organ)

Marian Suite (2015) (Violin, Organ) - I. Ave Maria II. Mary's Lullaby III. Ave maris stella

March on Lasst uns erfreuen (2016) (Organ) (Published OUP)

Gloria and Nunc dimittis to accompany Finzi's Magnificat (2016) (SSAATTBB, Organ) - Commissioned by the Finzi Trust for the Three Choirs Festival (more information available here) (Published by Boosey and Hawkes)

Hosanna Filio David (2016) (SATB) - Gregorian Introit

In manus tuas (2016) (SATB) (Published OUP)

Ecce sacerdos (2016) (SATB, Org)

Evocation of Wells Cathedral (Radix Jesse) (2016) (Organ)

Like as the hart (2016) (SATB) (Published OUP)

Triptych in Honour of Herbert Howells (2016) (Organ) - I. Come Sing and Dance II. On Chosen Hill III. Holy is the True Light

To St Cecilia (2016) (SATB, Org)

In Omni Opere (2016) (SATB with divisions)

I Was Glad (2016) (SATB with very occasional divisions, Organ, optional Brass and Percussion)

Alma Redemptoris Mater (2016) (SATB with divisions)

Ave Regina caelorum (2016) (SATB with divisions)

Assumpta est Maria (2017) (SATB with divisions) - for ORA

Pure Living Light (2017) (SATB, Org)

St Martin's Mass (2017) (Congregation, SATB (Optional), Org)

Blessed is the Man (2017) (SATB)

The Scholar (2017) (SATB) - Written for the Installation of the Sir Paul Nurse as Chancellor of The University of Bristol

O Clap Your Hands (2017) (SATB) - Short Anthem or Introit

The Mower (2017) - BBC Commission for James Gilchrist (Tenor), Philip Dukes (Viola), and Anna Tilbrook (Piano) for the Hull City of Culture Festival 2017

Some Corner of a Foreign Field - Three Songs of WWI (2017) (SATB) I. A Soldier's Cemetery II. To a Missing Friend III. The Soldier (If I should die, think only this of me)

Melbourne Festival Service (Magnificat and Nunc dimittis) (2017) (SATB, Organ)

Hail, Heavenly Beam (2017) (SATB)

Walton's Paean (2018) (Organ)

Make We Merry - 8 Carols for Choir (2018) (SSAA, Organ, optional Brass and Percussion) (SATB version also available 2020)

Regina Caeli (2018) (SATB, SATB)

A Prayer of St Patrick (2018) (SSA)

Idyll (Siegfried Sassoon) (2018) (SATB, occasional divisions)

To Music and Friendship (2018) (SATB)

Solemn Prelude on 'Londonderry Air' (2019) (Organ)

Praise the Lord (2019) (SATB, Organ)

Beautiful must be the mountains (2019) (SATB)

Tune for Leo (2019) (Piano)

I shall not live in vain (2019) (S with optional S2, Organ, Cello (optional))

Thou art my life (2019) (SSAA)

Clifton Festival Fanfare (2019) (Trumpet in Bb, Organ)

A Prayer of St Chad (2019) (SATB)

A Song for Hannah (Wedding Song) (2019) (Viola, Organ)

Seek him that maketh the seven stars (SATB with divisions) (2019)

Partita on Themes of Thomas Tallis (2019) (Organ)

O, what their joy and their glory must be (2019) (SATB, Organ)

I was glad and I saw a New Heaven (2019) (SATB, Trumpet, Organ)

O Radix Jesse (2019) (SATB)

O Rex Gentium (2019) (SATB)

Messe de Minuit for Wells Cathedral (2019) (SATB, Flute, Oboe, Organ)

O Great Mystery (2019) (SATB)

Alternatim Gloria (Missa de Angelis) for Douai Abbey (2019) (SATB)

The Dear Bargain (Charitas Nimia) - Festival Anthem (2020) (SATB, Organ)

Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit (2020), (SATB, Organ)

Sing Joyfully (2020) (SATB, Organ)

Mass for Solo Voice (2021) (High or Medium Voice, Organ)

Truly the Lord is in this place (2021) (SATB)

The Jackson Introits (2021) 1. Be glad in the Lord 2. Praise the Lord 3a. Ascribe to the Lord 3b. Alleluia. Let us rejoice (SATB, Organ)

Light Triumphant Breaks (2021) (SATB, Organ)

O Sapientia (2021) (SATB)

O Adonai (2021) (SATB)

Fauxbourdon Magnificat (2021) (SATB)

Sing Lullaby (2021) (SATB)

Give your hearts - Wedding Blessing with words by Kahil Gibran (2022) (SATB)

Toccata for Lady Wulfrun (2022) (Organ)

True Beauty Ever Lives - Anthem for The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers (2022) (SATB, Organ)

Vexilla Regis (2022) (SATB, Organ)

Raise, raise the voice (2022) (SATB, Organ, or Baroque Ensemble)

Advent Antiphons (2022) (SATB, 1 movement with Soprano solo)

Fantasis on Thaxted (2023) (Organ)

Ubi caritas (2023) (SATB)

Ave verum corpus (2023) (SATB)

Festival Responses for Wells Cathedral (2023) (SATB, Organ)

Blessed are the pure in heart (2023) (SATB)

An Advent Sequence (2023) (SATB, Organ) 1. O Morning Star 2. Blessed Mother 3. No more shall nation against nation rise 4. O Emmanuel

Light (2023) (SATB with divisions)

Forthcoming Works 

O that we were there! A Christmas Fantasia

O Dormi Jesu

Fanfare on Salve Regina

St Mark Passion

Sonata In Memoriam RVW for Viola and Piano

String Quartet

Piano Sonata 

Festival Mass for Lancaster Priory (with congregational part)

Fanfare on Salve Regina

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