Michael Mears & Wendy Campbell (2000, Longridge)
Composition 2000 is the latest collection of compositions from the pedigree stable of John Longridge. The collection is compiled by Michael Mears and Wendy Campbell and is clearly designed with computer owners in mind, being available only on CD or by e-mail. The text is in PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader (supplied with the CD or freely available over the Internet). This move towards electronic rather than paper based publication will suit some more than others. You can print any or all of the 146 pages but they do not go on the back of the car seat as easily as Composition 500! Of course some people will take their laptop with them on a peal week but not everyone is at that stage yet.
There are some excellent notes on navigating the document, so that the non-techies need not have any fear of getting lost and there is also a very good contents page. The compositions themselves cover the full range (up to maximus) that one has come to expect of this series. There are some very innovative and challenging works as well as some which I suspect will become ‘classics’ in years to come. The presence of one particular composition has stirred me to organise a band to attempt it later this year. Some of the individual compositions worthy of mention must include the 40320 Double Norwich CB, an 18-part Cambridge S Maximus and surely the hardest must be the Orion, Rigel, Avon and Stedman with non-standard starts in Stedman. Spliced Minor is also given a good airing with some new work by old masters of this particular genre.
Sixty-one composers have work included. Some of the household names are missing but it is very healthy to see the presence of some new names and new ideas. Whether you are a conductor, composer or just enjoy browsing through compositions I commend this collection to you.
RODERICK R. HORTON
Published in The Ringing World. August 18, 2000 p810