Press – current and past

Latest Articles about the London Bach Society published in the musical Press:

Classical Music Magazine, October 2016 Edition Alexandra Coghlan speaks with LBS Artistic Director Margaret Steinitz, widow of legendary founder Paul Steinitz.

Early Music Today, Autumn 2016  70 Years of Passion”

 Leipzig Bachfest Magazine” May 2015

The Organ” December 2014

The Critic’s eye-view: 

The following is a selection of views expressed regarding London Bach Society events and performances.

More praise can be found on the Steinitz Bach Players page.

About the St. Matthew Passion from 1952:

“The use of the organ instead of the harpsichord, however correct, seemed to give an unwelcome heaviness to the Evangelist’s narration. The use of the German text by English singers is something of an anomaly and its justification questionable.” – Anon, early 1950s

“It is no longer a novel concept that much of Bach’s music is underpinned by dance rhythms. But translating that realization into practice in the St. Matthew Passion requires a certain boldness; it is that that makes Paul Steinitz’s annual performance… an unmissable event for many Bach enthusiasts.” – The Times, 1981

Bachfest performance in 2002 to mark the 50th anniversary of the original 1952 UK première:

“That ‘conscious attempt to take a fresh look at a masterpiece’ has of course been followed by so many competing versions of this great work, but few of them can have provided such pure musical pleasure as this one… It was a nice touch, as well as an authentic one, to have the audience join in with some of the chorales, and though I say so myself, we didn’t do at all badly, sections of us actually managing to sing in harmony during ‘Befiehl du deine Wege”. – Seen & Heard 2002 – published on the Web

LBS historic Bach Cantata cycle (1958-1987):

One year into the cycle:

“It is a pity that the public cannot easily be persuaded to sample the great variety and richness of Bach’s Church Cantatas….” – The Sunday Times 1959

The cycle progresses:

“Saturday’s concert was a classic LBS affair, an all-Bach programme, including two rare cantatas. The fact that both turned out to be first-rate discoveries should surprise no one, for we long ago got used to the idea that Bach cantatas housed the biggest remaining stock of neglected masterpieces” – The Times, 1975

Cantata cycle completion on 12 December 1987 – a unique achievement in the UK:

“Paul Steinitz deserves not so much a review as a celebration. The cantatas will never again be dismissed as inessential Bach”. – The Independent 1987

About LBS pioneering period instruments:

UK première appearance of clarino trumpet:

“Once the problems of technique attendant on rediscoveries of old instruments have been solved it seems certain that these small hunting horn shaped trumpets will play a valuable part in performances of baroque music.” – Financial Times, 1962

About LBS Commissions and First Performances:

Sir John Tavener – Introit for St. John Damascene – World Première of LBS Commission:

“Bach Society strikes gold” – The Times, 1968

“Awe-inspiring ‘Introit’ by John Tavener.” – The Daily Telegraph, 1968

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies – ‘Veni, Sancti spiritus’ – First London performance – BBC Broadcast:

“Rich lyricism of Davies hymn setting” – Daily Telegraph, 1972

Stanley Glasser – “The Chameleon and the Lizard” – a choral entertainment sung in Zulu – South Bank première of LBS Commission:

“It was fun to hear Bach singers clapping out Zulu rhythms and getting their tongues round Zulu words…” – Financial Times, 1976

Geoffrey Burgon – Requiem – First London performance – Westminster Cathedral – BBC Recording:

“Vision in the cathedral” – The Sunday Times, 1978

Christopher Brown – “The Vision of Saul.” – World Première of LBS Commission – BBC Recording:

“…chorus and all four soloists bore witness to the composer’s fine craftsmanship.” – Daily Telegraph, 1984

About an LBS historic recording:

BBC Legends label – Recits & Arias Compilation Disc – St. Matthew Passion (Elly Ameling/Janet Baker/Paul Steinitz/London Bach Society Choir, Steinitz Bach Players, recorded in The Priory Church of St. Bartholomew-the-Great in 1972):

“…a very welcome opportunity to salute one of the key pioneer figures in the performance history of Bach’s music in twentieth century Britain…This is a marvellous disc…Recommended with great enthusiasm.” – – Classic Reviews – December 2005

“Paul Steinitz’s Bach performances, famous in their day, have aged well…the artistry shines through.” – The Sunday Times – This week’s essential new releases – January 2006

And finally, from the 1973 USA tour, the review that perhaps says it all:

“Indeed the overriding impression of the whole concert, and the performance practice in particular, was ‘You’ve come a Long Way Baby’.” The Daily Iowan, Iowa City, 1973

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