Works by Malcolm Hayes

(for Choral Works, click here)


Lirena  (2014-16)

Opera in one act

Scenario and libretto by the composer

Settings: a ship at sea in the Mediterranean (Prologue and Epilogue); a deserted bay on a Greek island, about 50 years earlier (Scenes 1 – 5)


  • Alexander Ross MacDonald, novelist, travel writer, retired Senior Lecturer in Greek at Aberdeen University, aged mid-70s/Alexander, aged early 20s – baritone
  • Lirena, a mermaid, aged 16 – soprano
  • The Voice of Teiresias, legendary seer of Greek mythology – countertenor, offstage

[Orchestra: 2(II=picc & alto fl).2(II=corA).2(II=bass clt).2(II=cbsn)/ perc./hp./pf./strs.:, min.]

Vocal score by the composer

Duration: 75 mins.


ORCHESTRA (with voices)

Stabat Mater  (2001)

Soprano, mezzo-soprano and orchestra

[3(III with low B=picc1).alto fl(=picc2).0.0.0./ drs., 2 plyrs.)/3-4 perc./hp./pf./strs.:]

Duration: 19 mins.

Commissioned by BBC Radio 3

fp: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh (Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust/BBC invitation concert), 22 February 2002: Alwyn Mellor (soprano), Emma Selway (mezzo-soprano), BBC Scottish SO, cond. Garry Walker

fb: BBC Radio 3, 23 March 2002 (rec. of above)


Odysseus remembers  (2003-04)

Text by the composer, after the Odyssey of Homer (Books X-XII)

Narrator (Odysseus), soprano (Circe), mezzo-soprano (Anticleia), countertenor (Teiresias) and orchestra

[1(with low B).2picc(II=fl2).alto fl.2.corA.2.2 bass clt.2.cbsn./ drs., 2 plyrs)/5-6 perc./2 hp./pf./strs.:]

Duration: 33 mins.

Commissioned by BBC Radio 3

fp: BBC Maida Vale Studios, 3 February 2006: Roderick Williams (Odysseus), Claire Booth (Circe), Andrew Watts (Teiresias), Susan Bickley (Anticleia), BBC Symphony Orchestra, cond. Edward Gardner

fb: BBC Radio 3, 10 June 2006 (rec. of above)

To listen to extracts online, please go to Listen menu above

To read review, please go to Performance Reviews submenu above


Magnificat  (2003-05)

Soprano and orchestra

[2.1.ob d’amore.0.2./ bells/strs.:]

Duration: 12 mins.

(for performance separately or with Nunc dimittis)


Nunc dimittis  (2008-09)

Baritone and orchestra

[1.picc.1.ob d’amore (or 2nd oboe).0.0./ tblr bell.4 handbells/strs.:]

Duration: 5 mins.

(for performance with Magnificat, not separately)


The Mermaid Sings  (2022)

Arranged from Lirena (see Opera above)

Soprano and orchestra

[1.alto fl=picc.1.corA.1.bass clt.1.cbsn./ perc./hp./pf./strs.]

Duration: 21 mins.


ORCHESTRA (without voices)

Byzantium  (2011-12)

After the poem by W.B.Yeats

[2.picc.2.corA.2.bass clt.2.cbsn./ perc./hp./pf./strs.]

Duration: 15 mins.

fp: BBC Maida Vale Studios, 25 January 2013: BBC Symphony Orchestra, cond. Garry Walker

fb: BBC Radio 3, 12 February 2013 (rec. of above)

To listen to recording online, please go to Listen menu above

To read review, please go to Performance Reviews submenu above


Violin Concerto  (2013-14)

[Orchestra: 2(II=picc).ob d’amore.2.2./ perc./hp./pf./strs.]

Single movement: duration 24 mins.

Commissioned by BBC Radio 3.

fp: BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, 11 August 2016: Tai Murray (violin), BBC National Orchestral of Wales, cond. Thomas Søndergård

To listen to recording online, please go to Homepage, Composing section (2)

To read reviews, please return to Homepage and click on links


Flute Concerto (Ailein Duinn: Lament for Dark-Haired Allan)  (2017-18)

[picc..alto fl.ob.corA.clt.bass clt(=clt2).bsn.cbsn(=bsn2)/ perc./hp./strs.]

Single movement: duration 19 mins.

Written for Katherine Bryan, principal flute, Royal Scottish National Orchestra



Cantata  (1983)

Flute, vibraphone, string trio

Duration: 11 mins.

fp: Bath Festival of Music, 26 May 1985 (SPNM concert): Nancy Ruffer (flute), Music Projects/London, cond. Richard Bernas

fb: BBC Radio 3, 7 January 1988: Ingrid Culliford (flute), Lontano, cond. Odaline de la Martinez



Hymns and Constellations  (2005)

String quartet and piano

Duration: 15 mins.


VOCAL (one or more solo voices with chamber group)

Three Songs on Chinese Poems  (1972)

Texts: poems from the T’ang Dynasty (8th to 10th century, English translations)

  • 1.    Exile (Li Shang-yin)
  • 2.    Egrets (Tu Mu)
  • 3.    Thoughts on a Night Journey (Tu Fu)

Soprano and chamber group: alto flute, bass clarinet, celesta

Duration: 9 mins.

fp: Lancaster University (BBC Young Composers Forum), 16 October 1973: Jane Manning (soprano), Vesuvius Ensemble

fb: BBC Radio 3, April 1974 (rec. of above)


Pathways  (1978/2020)

Texts (set in Spanish): Antonio Machado

  • Al viento, sobre la sierra (On the wind above the mountains)
  • Sol en Aries (Sun in Aries)
  • A José María Palacio (To José María Palacio)
  • Todo pasa y todo queda (Everything passes and everything remains)

4 Sopranos, 4 Altos and chamber group

[flute, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, horn, harp, percussion (3 players): tamtam, large; bell-plate, deep unpitched, or additional tamtam, medium-large; crotales, 1-octave chromatic range, middle C to C above; tubular bells, chromatic range, middle C to F 11th above; vibraphone, 3-octave range, F to F; marimba, 3-octave range]

Duration: 16 mins.


The Wind in the Pines  (1983/2020)

Texts (set in Spanish): from Pablo Neruda, Veinte poemas de amor y un canción desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair)

  • Ah vasteded de pinos (Ah Vastness of Pines)
  • En mi cielo al crepúsculo (In My Sky at Twilight),

Dedication: ‘To Jane Manning’

Soprano and percussion (1 player): 4 tubular bells (middle C and E, F and B within octave above), crotales (2-octave chromatic range, C to C), 2 tamtams (medium, large)

Duration: 9 mins.

fp (original version for unaccompanied soprano): Jane Manning; Tarragona Conservatory of Music, Catalonia, 4 July 1984


Cradle Songs  (1984/2020)

Texts (set in Spanish): from Gabriela Mistral, Ternura (Tenderness)

  • Meciendo (Cradling)
  • La noche (Night)
  • La madre triste (Sad Mother)

Soprano and chamber group

[piccolo/alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, percussion (1 player): 2 cymbals, susp., medium-small/medium-large; 2 gongs, unpitched, medium-small/medium; 2 tamtams, medium-large/large; wind chimes; glockenspiel, 3-octave range, C to C; high bell, unpitched, eg song-bell/temple bell; vibraphone, 3-octave range, F to F]

Duration: 12 mins.


VOCAL (solo voice with piano or unaccompanied)

Ring of Light  (1985)

Text: Kathleen Raine, ‘The Ring’ (from Year One, © 1952 Kathleen Raine; set by permission of Hamish Hamilton Ltd.)

Soprano solo

Duration: 5 mins.

fp: Rebecca Lea (soprano): The Early Music Experiment, at The Rag Factory, London E1, 13 June 2011

To listen online, please go to Listen menu above


Three Motets  (2006)

Texts: medieval Latin

  • 1.    Spes, via, vita
  • 2.    O lux quam non videt alia lux
  • 3.    Alma Redemptoris Mater

Soprano and piano

Duration: 16 mins.


Inscapes  (2023)

Texts: Gerard Manley Hopkins

  • 1.    Binsey Poplars
  • 2.    Peace

Mezzo-soprano and piano

Duration: 9 mins.



Scenes from Dante  (2005-12)

Cycle in three parts, comprising:


From the Inferno of Dante  (2011-12)

  • 1.    The Burning Sand
  • 2.    The Wood of the Suicides

Duration: 13 mins.


From the Purgatorio of Dante  (2007)

  • 1.    The Valley of the Late-Repentant
  • 2.    Forese Donati speaks to Dante

Duration: 12 mins.

fp: Clare Hammond (piano): Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre, Peebles, 24 April 2018

To listen online, please go to Listen menu above


From the Paradiso of Dante  (2005-06)

  • 1.    Piccarda Donati speaks to Dante
  • 2.    Seraphim

Duration: 13 mins.

fp: Daniel Grimwood (piano): All Saints Church, Brenchley, Kent, 30 April 2011