The town of Newark served as one of the most important Royalist bases in the East Midlands and was, in consequence, besieged on a number of occasions during the Civil War. It is likely that this piece was inspired by the last and longest siege which lasted from November 1645 until May 1646, when Charles I ordered the town's surrender. By this time Newark had become, according to a contemporary account, a miserable, stinking, infected town.
Newark Siege was written as a fantasia for five viols and is a piece of pure music theatre depicting the sorties, sallies, and ensuing battles between the two sides. All notes are original. Peter Reeve has added the drum part, tempo markings and dynamics.
John Jenkins (1592 - 1678) was the most distinguished violist of his day. He was Court Composer to both Charles I and II, but spent most of his life in residence with the highly influential North family in Norfolk. His output was prodigious, consisting of the then popular fantasia for viols, written in the Italian style, plus songs, rounds, catches and rants.
Peter was a professional trumpet player all his working life. After study at the Royal College of Music in London he joined the orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he spent the next eleven years. On leaving the ROH, he played with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the English Opera Group and the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, whose repertoire included a number of his arrangements. He was always deeply interested in teaching and was a visiting tutor at University of London Goldsmith's College and later a professor at the RCM. In 1980 he returned to the ROH where he stayed until his retirement from professional playing in 1996. He lived in Berwick-upon-Tweed where he continued to arrange music for brass and was Brass Coach to the Scottish Borders Community Orchestra and ran the Borders Brass Ensemble.
Peter Reeve died in September 2006.