chapter  3
Changing Orientations (1965–74)
Pages 63

After adopting selected aspects of Peter Maxwell Davies’s compositional approach in the works he wrote before 1965 – cantus firmus, modality, various forms of canonic device, isorhythm – Smalley then appears to throw his lot behind his senior’s main interests at that time by basing a series of works on the keyboard music of a Renaissance composer, William Blitheman.1 As mentioned in Chapter 1, the Blitheman pieces (Gloria tibi Trinitas i-vi) are from the Mulliner book, published in 1962 as the first volume of Musica Britannica in a reprinted version with corrections. It is not just the fact that Smalley derives his music from that of a Renaissance figure that provides the connection with Davies: as their titles proclaim, the Blitheman pieces are based on the Gloria tibi Trinitas plainsong, from which Davies derived his Taverner works – the opera of that name (1962-68) plus two orchestral Fantasias (1962 and 1964). And Davies also included an arrangement of one of Blitheman’s Gloria tibi Trinitas pieces as the sixth of his Seven In Nomine, which were given their first performance at the Wardour Castle Summer School of 1965, which Smalley attended.2