LBS New Work, Commissions and First Performances

LBS Commissions

Introit for the Feast of St. John DamasceneJohn Tavener, first performed on 27 March 1968, London’s QEH, South Bank Centre.

“The Chameleon and the Lizard”Stanley Glasser, first performed on 30 January 1971, a choral entertainment sung in Zulu, LBS commission with Arts Council funds.

Easter Stanzas - David Rowlands, first performed on 25 March 1972, QEH, LBS Commission with Arts Council funds

Missa BrevisChristopher Brown first performed on 23 March 1968 as part of the St. Pancras Festival and LBS 21st anniversary of its first concerts, plus his Three Mediaeval Lyrics first performed on 13 October 1973 at QEH. BBC recording.  LBS Commission with Arts Council funds for USA tour and the cantata The Vision of Saul, first performed on 11 February 1984. QEH. BBC Recording. LBS Commission with Arts Council funds for Paul Steinitz 75th Birthday series.

Latest additions

Wie wunderbarlich….” -Robert Peate  First performed at The 18-30 Bach Club on 2 November 2013 in London’s Foundling Museum. Commissioned for the Bach Club by LBS Council Chairman Richard Jones.

“Wo soll ich fliehen hin” - Diana Burrell  A chorale prelude commissioned by the London Bach Society as part of the “Orgelbüchlein Project” directed by William Whitehead. The commission is donated by LBS Council Chairman Richard Jones for the Society’s 70th Anniversary and this new Chorale Prelude was given its première on 7 November 2016 performed by William Whitehead on the Richards, Fowkes organ in St. George’s Church Hanover Square, London W1.

UK First & Broadcast Performances a selection
Canticum Sacrum - Igor Stravinsky, 11 December 1956 – performance directed by Robert Craft, Organist Paul Steinitz
Canti di Prigionia - Dallapiccola, 14 May 1963
Tré Liriche Grêche - Maderna, 5 March 1965
Five Epigrams - Nicholas Maw, 14 October 1965
Cain and Abel - John Tavener, 22 October 1966 – BBC Recording
Stars - David Matthews. 22 October 1970, QEH and USA tour 1971
Hymn to the Holy Innocents - Christopher Brown, 13 January 1975 BBC
Little Requiem for Father Malachy Lynch - John Tavener, 22 Nov 1975
Requiem for Father Malachy - John Tavener, London 1 December 1979
Veni Sancte Spiritus - Peter Maxwell Davies, 4 November 1972 QEH. BBC
The performers were the London Bach Society Choir (1947-89) and Steinitz Bach Players (1968-) conducted by our founder Paul Steinitz (1909-1988)

LBS Composer Folio Our composition folio was re-opened in 2011 under the auspices of the Society’s 18-30 Bach Club, as a development of their performing activities and to reflect Bach’s influence among today’s composers. Launched in 2009, the Club is inspired by Bach’s tenure as Director of Music of the Leipzig Collegium Musicum, the students’ musical society founded in 1702 by his contemporary and friend Georg-Philipp Telemann. Here new works were premièred at the weekly meetings held at Zimmermann’s Coffee House in Leipzig’s  fashionable Katharinenstrasse including Bach’s famous and much-loved Coffee Cantata.

The commissioning and first performances of new music is an important chapter in the LBS story. Our folio of new works (see above) contains a wide range of innovatory compositions. These have been delivered by an eclectic group of creators reflecting the rich and diverse composer community. Working with today’s composers and listening to their music  provides a refreshing counterpoise to the study and performance of Bach, whose creations are often their inspiration. This fusion of interests widens horizons, from which emerges a greater understanding and appreciation of human creativity and the fertile mind.
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