What they say…



‘Few members of the packed audiences at the Barn Theatre’s extended run of ‘Pinocchio’ can have left the show in doubt that they will be hearing more of the music of William Godfree.’ Surrey Advertiser, January 1979


‘William Godfree has a keen appreciation of the overtones that simple archaic language have in the contemporary mind […] responded joyfully to the imagery of ‘Lenten Is Come’ and was obviously stirred by ‘Benedicite, What Dreamed I This Night?’ producing a finely organised conflict of orchestral and vocal sound.’ Richmond and Twickenham Times, April 1981


‘Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in G and Guilmant’s Morceau de Concert are the star turns, with William Godfree’s Folia Variations following on closely.’ Gordon Reynolds, Gramophone Magazine, September 1985


‘This powerful and original work was given a grand and exciting performance by Twickenham Choral Society.’ Teddington and Hampton Times, 27 June 1986


‘Of particular interest was the first performance of a song cycle of animal poetry by Stevie Smith. Easy on the ear in places, at other times it was moving and profound, particularly the third song about the doomed dragon Fafnir.’ Dover Express, December 1982


‘Godfree’s Divertimento lives up to its name by introducing reminiscences of the Victorian ballad, A Jig, and snatches of a sea shanty, all good material for wind instruments and put together with a flair which augurs well for further developments.’ Richmond and Twickenham Times, March 1983


‘What emerged powerfully was the composer’s depth of feeling in this most personal of forms, posing a challenge only to be met with courage and honesty.’ Alasdair James, Richmond and Twickenham Times, March 1990


The Chichester Singers’ concert on 7th November 2015 had a mixed programme - an orchestral work and two choral works, comprising two familiar pieces by Mozart and one modern work by a composer whose name was unfamiliar to many in the audience. William Godfree’s Requiem was composed 25 years ago, and some potential members of the audience may have been put off by the fact that it is a late 20th century composition, and also that the composer is a member of a jazz band and occasionally performs in cabaret. They need not have worried. The Requiem is a delightful piece, firmly fixed in the classical tradition, a pleasure to hear and obviously good to sing. The Chichester Singers produced a fine mellow sound and were well supported by the orchestra of Southern Pro Musica. There is a small part for the one soloist, but Charlotte Schoeters added emotion to the work with her soaring soprano voice. It may be that Godfree had composed the work for a smaller choir and orchestra, but the combined forces in the Cathedral filled the building with music of great charm, and the audience with enthusiasm. Bill Witts, County Times 07-11-2015



‘I hesitate to include this in a column devoted to High Art, but Mates is rather good, bizarrely like the real thing (his pianist, William Godfree, quite disarmingly like Swann), and with surprising vocal stamina.’ Michael White, The Independent, 21 July 1996

‘Michael Mates’ brief introductions were both apposite and anecdotal, and his diction and delivery were excellent. William Godfree, who looked and sounded uncannily like Swann, with many of his mannerisms perfectly caught, was an exellent partner. His playing was superb, fluent, musical, and at times virtuosic, AND he sang as well, being especially vibrant in Kokoraki, a Greek version of the Barnyard song […] This was sophisticated, elegant entertainment.’ Ann Pinhey, Petersfield Herald, March 2006

‘Mates, as befits an MP, is a skilful raconteur, and his accomplished singing reminds us that he was once a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge. Godfree is nothing less than a wizard of the keyboard, and his timing of all those intricate little figurations is impeccable.’ Tom Muckley, Petersfield Post, March 2006

‘Dear Michael and William, Thank you so much for getting us off to such a fun start on ‘Loose Ends’ on Saturday. Best wishes for future gigs. I thought you both sounded splendid.’ Ned Sherrin September 2001


At Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral ‘At the end the programme switched to a summertime theme with touches of Gershwin, Coward and Mendelssohn among others. With William Godfree, a stylistically versatile pianist.’ Mike Allen, Portsmouth News, 23 June 2009


Southern Pro Musica Guildford Guildhall Rating: *****

Stravinsky: The Soldier’s Tale: “… The Soldier’s Tale, on this occasion presented unstaged but with beautifully characterised narration from Godfree”

Walton: Façade: “The narration was sensibly shared between William Godfree and Peter White, both most cleverly articulate.” Sebastian Forbes, Surrey Advertiser 16-06-2015