Brian Mountford: Music


The Happy Prince

The Happy Prince is an hour-long chamber opera based on the story by Oscar Wilde, for two singers and orchestra. It's not meant to be fully staged, but in most respects it's operatic.

I have orcestrated it both for full orchestra and for a reduced chamber ensemble.


Here's a PDF of the original story. The opera follows the text of the story closely, but with a few changes. In particular, the section in grey in the PDF has been cut, mainly for reasons of length of the opera.


My sister Diane and my friend Ching Chang have graciously helped me create a recording of the piece, singing along with my synthesizers. To listen, use the playlist on the right. If you don't have time for the whole thing, start close to the end, with "Then The Snow Came", so you don't miss the big climax.

If you want to listen the whole piece in iTunes:

  1. download the zip file of MP3 files (77 Megabytes) to your computer,
  2. unzip the the zip file (usually, double-clicking on the downloaded file does this), then
  3. open iTunes, select Import... from the File menu, and import all 17 mp3 .files.

Sheet Music

The files below are the complete score for each section. For files in additional formats, including sheet music for the chamber version and the piano/vocal reduction, see this page.

  1. Overture
  2. High Above The City
  3. One Night There Flew
  4. He Had Met Her
  5. All Day Long He Flew
  6. When I Was Alive
  7. The Poor House
  8. He Passed By
  9. The Distinguished Stranger March
  10. The Second Cataract
  11. The Garret
  12. The Harbour
  13. The Match-Girl
  14. Please Use Temporary Walkway
  15. Then The Snow Came
  16. The Mayor
  17. Two Most Precious Things

Here are zip files of all sections:

Zip File With All Sheet Music

Zip File With Complete Piano/Vocal Reduction

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For I Was Hungry

A setting of Matthew 25:35-40, for baritone soloist, SSATB choir and organ.

Sheet Music MP3

The MP3 file is a cheap synthesizer rendition for practice, with the vocal parts played using an English horn sound.

Gabriel's Message

A setting of the traditional Christmas carol for soprano soloist and organ. Arranged with and for my sister Diane.

Sheet Music

The Mr. Siegel Songbook

A setting of six poems, for a variety of instruments, composed for the centennial celebration of St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California.


Poem by Joyce Kilmer, for mixed chorus.

Sheet Music MP3

The Cat and the Moon

Poem by William Butler Yeats, for soprano soloist, piano and string quartet. Revised 2013 version.

Sheet Music Violin 1 Part Violin 2 Part Viola Part Cello Part

Original centennial version, which, among other differences, also included a part for double bass.

Sheet Music MP3

Pied Beauty

Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, for soprano soloist, oboe and piano.

Sheet Music MP3

The Second Coming

Poem by William Butler Yeats, for speaker, soprano soloist, chorus, string quintet, oboe, piano, organ, bass drum and handbells.

Sheet Music MP3

Anecdote of the Jar

Poem by Wallace Stevens, for soprano soloist, oboe and string quintet.

Sheet Music MP3

The Windhover

Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, for soprano soloist, chorus, organ and handbells.

Sheet Music MP3

The centennial weekend included a concert, and my friend Ching Chang, who sang in the choir and organized their concert series, asked if I would write a piece for the occasion. The congregation included a number of talented musicians, and I tried to use them all by setting each poem for a different group of musicians.

my original program notes

The recordings above are just my computer versions to hear how they sounded. We have a recording of the actual concert, but for legal reasons it's not publicly available.

The Apostrophe To Vincentine

A setting of a Wallace Stevens poem, for baritone and piano.

Sheet Music

Rosemary, Pale White Flour

A setting of a very tasty Martha Stewart recipe for rosemary cookies, for tenor, baritone and piano. Dedicated to, and sung by, my cookie-baking friends Mario Gullo and Jim Longo.

Sheet Music MP3

Of course I have no permission from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to use the lyrics, so it may not be performable in a formal setting.

(amusing outtakes)

Roethke Fragment

A setting of one stanza from the poem The Vigil, by Theodore Roethke, for SATB chorus.

Sheet Music MP3

The Devil's Dictionary

A setting of selected entries from the The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce, for chorus and autoharp. There are currently 19 sections, including an introductory frontispiece and concluding colophon.

Sheet Music

The MP3 player at right has computer renditions for reference. A few sections use real autoharp; everything else is synthesized by Finale.

Performance Notes

For details of intended performance, and information about the non-standard autoharp techniques used, see the Performance Notes. Most importantly:

A speaker ... should, after the introductory Frontispiece, intone "The Devil's Dictionary", and introduce each word being defined....

To streamline the performance slightly, the Apologive and Positive sections could be skipped, giving 17 sections, with autoharp in sections 1, 2, 5, 8, 12 and 17, and a total length of around 11 minutes.

Text of the Piece

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The Bride's Dream

A setting of verses from the Song of Solomon, for SSAATBB chorus. Written for the Cerddorion composition competition. I didn't win. :(

Sheet Music MP3

The Tide

A setting of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, for baritone and piano. I wrote this way back in music school, as a class assignment, and have only made a few cosmetic changes.

Sheet Music

Ideal Time

A setting of parts of a poem by Wallace Stevens. Written for the New York City Master Chorale open mic night, Octboer 21, 2015.


Theme And Variations

A theme and three variations for solo piano. Listen using the player at right.

Sheet Music

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Advent Candle Responsory

A three-part responsive flourish for use when lighting the advent candles on the fourth Sunday of Advent, with one phrase sung after each candle is lighted. It was intended to be a lead-in to singing O Come All Ye Faithful in the key of G, though that never panned out when my father, sister and I sang it.

Sheet Music

Another Fallen Romeo

For a musical horse of a very different color, check out this video featuring a much younger me prancing around in a white suit, and my old friend Stefan Schramm on guitar. This was our final project for a studio production class at Mills College in the late 80s.