- City of Bath Bach Choir
The City of Bath Bach Choir (CBBC), based in Bath, Somerset, England, is a choir, founded in October 1946 by Cuthbert Bates, who was also a founding father of the Bath Bach Festival in 1950. The choir gave its inaugural concert in June 1947 in Bath Abbey, a performance of J. S. Bach's great Mass in B Minor. Cuthbert Bates, as well as the founder, was also the choir's principal conductor. He was an amateur musician with a great love and understanding of the works of J. S. Bach. The Choir's original aim was to promote Bach's music by means of periodic festivals  of music dedicated to the works of J. S. Bach.
The first President of the CBBC was Dr Ralph Vaughan Williams OM. Sir Arthur Bliss CH KCVO KT, then Master of the Queen's Music, took over as President in 1959 followed by Sir David Willcocks CBE MC, in 1975, who remains the choir's current President.
Denys Darlow, the distinguished Handelian scholar, succeeded Cuthbert Bates as Musical Director in 1980 and remained in post until 1990. He was then followed by Nigel Perrin, who has been conducting the CBBC since that time. Nigel Perrin began his musical life as a boy chorister at Ely Cathedral, from where he won a choral scholarship to King's College, Cambridge, to study under Sir David Willcocks. He became well-known as the high voice of The King's Singers.
The choir continues to perform demanding choral works, from all era, to a professional standard . Membership is therefore governed by an informal audition. Recent performances have included the Mass in Blue by Will Todd, accompanied by the composer. Elis Pehkonen's Russian Requiem was performed in Bath Abbey in 2008, in the composer's presence. Early performances of works by Dr Karl Jenkins have been given. The choir's 60th Anniversary Concert, in the Wiltshire Music Centre in 2007, comprised a newly commissioned work by Ed Hughes; Song for St Cecilia. Karl Jenkins’ Requiem was performed at Carnegie Hall, New York in 2008.
The choir regularly tours abroad. Concerts have been performed at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, Paris, and in Hungary, Belgium and Germany. The choir's latest tour was to Leipzig in 2009, singing in the famous Thomaskirche, where Johann Sebastian Bach was choirmaster. The City of Bath Bach Junior Choir is sponsored by the Senior Choir.
The early years 1946-1980
The City of Bath Bach Choir (CBBC) was formed in October 1946 and gave its inaugural concert in June 1947 in Bath Abbey, a performance of J. S. Bach's great Mass in B Minor. Its founder and principal conductor until his death in April 1980 was Cuthbert Bates, an amateur musician with a great love and understanding of the works of J. S. Bach. The Choir's primary aim was to promote Bach's music by means of periodic festivals of music dedicated to the works of J. S. Bach. The Choir's first President was the distinguished composer Dr. Ralph Vaughan Williams O.M.
As his collaborator, assistant musical director and assistant director of the Bath Bach Festivals Cuthbert chose Alan Bennett, then head of music at Bath Boys School (today Beechen Cliff School). The two men made a formidable team – Cuthbert meticulous, dedicated, determined and something of a figure of awe, and Alan Bennett a superlative musician, a bit of a ‘rough diamond’ and a perfect foil for Cuthbert.
The first Bath Bach Festival took place in October 1950, commemorating the bicentenary of the composer's death, and proved to be a great success. A further 8 festivals were held at approximately 4 year intervals until 1982. Unfortunately, the 8th Festival was a significant financial disaster and it was decided to close the periodic festival at that time. However in 1985 the Bath Bach Festival tradition was revived by Elizabeth Bates, Cuthbert Bates’ daughter, and periodic Bach Festivals continue under Elizabeth's direction in Bath to this day.
In its first 35 years of existence the Choir gave many performances of Bach's major choral works – its signature work, the Mass in B Minor, as well as the St Matthew Passion, the St. John Passion and the Christmas Oratorio as well as a large number of the cantatas, motets and other lesser-known pieces. However the Choir by no means confined its attention in these early years solely to the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and put on an average of two full choral and orchestral concerts every season at which a wide range of works was performed.
Perhaps not unsurprisingly the work of Vaughan Williams, the Choir's first President featured strongly in this period. Margaret Dewey (née Pitt) recalls that during a dress rehearsal for a Vaughan Williams work in the Abbey the scaffolding that supported the Altos and Basses slowly, and with great dignity, collapsed. No one was hurt and the scaffolding was re-instated in time for the concert. Margaret does not recall whether the singers missed a note during the process! The composer himself conducted the choir in a performance of his own work The Hundredth Psalm in Bath Abbey in June 1957. Vaughan Williams came to the Choir's rescue at this concert for the famously union-minded London Symphony Orchestra were about to "down tools" for their tea break during the rehearsal at 4 o’clock, thus upsetting the rehearsal plan. Vaughan Williams took the rostrum and told the orchestra that the rehearsal would run over just a bit and that he felt sure that they "wouldn’t mind"! Such was the power and reputation of the great man that the LSO continued without a murmur - even the brass section. At the same concert Vaughan Williams decided that he wanted to include the optional trombone parts for his performance of The Hundredth Psalm. Of course the Choir did not have them and so Alan Bennett spent most of the rehearsal and some time after copying out the parts by hand for use in the concert that night.
During this period most of the major European composers have found a place in the choir's programmes. However, in its first 35 years the policy of the Choir was to explore the lesser-known masterpieces as well as giving performances from the more popular choral repertoire. It gave one of the first modern performances of the Claudio Monteverdi Vespers of 1610, and other concerts have included works by Bononcini, Francesco Cavalli, Antonio Vivaldi, Heinrich Schütz, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Camille Saint-Saëns, Gustav Holst, Anton Bruckner and William Walton. In October 1966 the Choir gave the first ever performance of the Duruflé Requiem in Bath – certainly one of the first performances of the work in this country. Michael Tippet's oratorio A Child of our Time was given under the composer's baton as a part of the Bath Festival in June 1968.
Mindful of the fact that the success of a concert does not depend on choral singing alone, from the earliest time the Choir strived to obtain the services of the highest quality professional support. From the outset professional orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boyd Neel Orchestra and several others were engaged. However for a period during the 1970s rising costs necessitated a modification of this practice. Similar attention was also given to the selection and engagement of soloists. Singers such as Kathleen Ferrier, Dame Janet Baker, Margaret Cable, Wendy Eathorne, Eric Greene and John Shirley-Quick are among many of the famous names who sung with the Choir during this period.
Some indication of the standards that were achieved during this period may be found in the number of distinguished conductors who have accepted invitations to conduct concerts. They include Ralph Vaughan Williams, Josef Krips (who was so impressed with the Choir's performance of Haydn's The Creation with the London Symphony Orchestra that he repeated it at the Royal Festival Hall, London), Yehudi Menuhin, Basil Cameron, Reginald Jaques, Nadia Boulanger, Charles Groves, István Kertész and Sir David Willcocks.
In addition to the major choral and orchestral concerts outlined above, un-accompanied music has not been neglected. There were frequent recitals and serenade concerts in which a wide field of music, generally well away from the beaten track, has been explored, from the great sixteenth century school to the present day. Moreover in December 1947 the Choir gave its first performance of Carols by Candlelight in the Pump Rooms at which the Choir displayed its versatility and musicianship in introducing new and interesting carols as well as offering old favourites and carols for audience participation. These concerts have continued ever since and are now a well loved feature of Bath's Christmas celebrations.
The Choir's President, Sir Arthur Bliss died on 27 March 1975, and was replaced in July 1975 by the distinguished choral musician, Sir David Willcocks CBE MC then famous for his work at the Director of Music at King's College, Cambridge, and at that time recently appointed as Director of the Royal College of Music.
Cuthbert Bates's sudden death in April 1980 pre-empted his planned retirement concert performance of the Bach B Minor Mass scheduled for July 1980, and effectively ended this first period of the Choir's history.
The next decade 1980-1990
To replace Cuthbert Bates as Musical Director the Choir had already planned to appoint the distinguished Handelian scholar Denys Darlow. However, in recognition of Cuthbert Bates's long and distinguished service to the Choir the Choir's President, Sir David Willcocks conducted the July 1980 performance of the Bach B Minor Mass as a tribute and memorial to Cuthbert and Denys Darlow took over the Choir thereafter. At the time of appointment Denys was a senior professor at the Royal College of Music, Director of Music at St George's Church,Hanover Square, London, and for many years director of the Tilford Bach Festival and London Handel Festival. He had appeared playing the harpsichord continuo at a number of the Bath Bach Festivals in the preceding years and was thus well-known to the Choir and in sympathy with its aims and objectives.
Under Denys's baton the Choir spent the next 10 years moving forward from the Bach Festival legacy of its earlier years and building upon its reputation for exploring most other works in the choral cannon. Stephen Dodgson's Te Deum was performed in October 1982 as a part of the last Bach Festival at which the Choir sung, and the Choir continued throughout the period performing two major orchestral concerts per annum, with a lighter concert in the Summer and three performances of Carols by Candlelight.
In April 1986 the Choir gave the first performance of Denys Darlow's own Requiem, dedicated to the City of Bath Bach Choir.
From 1988 onwards, summer concerts were moved from Bath Abbey at which practically every performance had been given since the Choirs inception, to the Michael Tippett Centre at Bath Spa University. In 1988 and 1989 these performances were conducted by Marcus Sealy, who joined the Choir in January 1982 as accompanist, and sometime Musical Director and remains in that post today.
From 1987 to 1989 the annual Carols concerts were conducted by Cuthbert's daughter, Elizabeth and attracted steadily increasing audiences.
A further decade and beyond: 1990-2010
Denys Darlow found weekly travel to Bath for regular rehearsals was becoming something of a strain. Therefore on January 8, 1990 Nigel Perrin took over the baton as the Choir's new Director of Music and his appointment was confirmed later that year.
Nigel Perrin had been a chorister at Ely Cathedral, a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge, under Sir David Willcocks, and for about 10 years was the ‘top’ (counter-tenor) voice of the famous vocal group The King's Singers, singing all over the world with them and with other professionals ranging from Kiri Te Kanawa and Sir Cliff Richard. Appointing a singer as Musical Director was something of a challenge for the Choir, but has proved to be a wise move for Nigel Perrin has brought with him an amazing insight into the mechanics and techniques of choral singing as well as a determination to lead the Choir forward to even higher professional standards. Nigel Perrin's first concert was a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 in Bath Abbey in April 1990.
Under Nigel Perrins's musical leadership the Choir has continued to move forward in its professional standing and is now widely regarded as one of the leading musical forces in the West Country. The Choir has remained true to its roots, and continues to give two major orchestral concerts every year in the Autumn and Spring, with a lighter concert in the Summer. The Choir has made many tours in the UK and abroad to France, Belgium, Hungary and Germany and looks forward to extend its touring activities in the future.
In 1995 the Choir used The Forum, the old Bath cinema which has been converted into an evangelical church and which offers more space than the Abbey for a concert performance with large orchestras. Previously Cuthbert Bates had used the Forum for a concert on 26 May 1954 but disliked the venue so much he never returned. Today concerts in Bath can take place at either Bath Abbey – perhaps best suited for baroque – or work which only requires smaller musical forces, the Forum, for larger scale works, the Michael Tippett Centre for a more intimate setting a cappella or with simple piano accompaniment or the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon.
The Choir continues to explore new and ‘different’ works and in this period notably gave a performance of David Fanshawe's African Sanctus, and Benedicam Dominum by Diana Burrell, a work which also enabled Marcus Sealy to demonstrate the magnificent new Klais organ that had just been installed in Bath Abbey. The Choir gave the second performance of Requiem Aeternam by Jonathan Lloyd in the presence of the composer which necessitated the choir synchronising with a pre-recorded backing track. More recently the Choir has given performance of two ‘cross-over’ works by Karl Jenkins, The Armed Man and Requiem, which undoubtedly stretched the boundaries of its musical experience. The performance of The Armed Man in particular was given in The Forum and full use was made of the lighting and projection facilities to enhance the music and to stage a full audio-visual event.
In all this modernism the Choir has not neglected its roots and has often returned to the music of J. S. Bach. Most notably the Choir gave a performance of the B Minor Mass in the Abbey under the baton of the President, Sir David Willcocks, to mark its 50th anniversary celebrations in April 1997, and more controversially gave a semi-staged performance of the St. John Passion in The Forum in April 2005 – again using lighting and moving images to assist the performance, to critical acclaim.
In 2000 the Choir took the decision to invest in the creation of its own Junior Section, and formed ‘the Junior Choir’ with the aim of offering local schoolchildren the opportunity of learning how to sing. The aim of the Junior Section was to inculcate a love of music amongst the children of Bath, and to do the Choir's own ‘bit’ to ensure that there remained a regular pool of talent to join the CBBC at some stage in the future. The Musical Director decided that all should be able to join the choir, without any audition and without having to demonstrate the ability to read music. Since its formation the Junior Choir has gone from strength to strength and now consists of some 50 singers – aged 8 – 15 – who give regular performances for charity or with the CBBC as a part of one of its regular concerts.
Over the years the Choir has travelled widely and has developed relationships with singers in Bath's twin cities in Hungary, the fabulous Béla Viká Choir, in Braunschweig (Brunswick) with the Cathedral Dom Chor and with Les Bengalis de Liége in Liege, Belgium. Bath's twin City of Braunschweig was heavily bombed by the allies on the nights of the 14th and 15 October 1944. The bombing inflicted substantial damage to the Dom (Cathedral) and many lives were lost. In October 2004 the CBBC was honoured to be invited to join our good friends the Dom Chor in a performance of the Benjamin Britten War Requiem in the Dom, in the presence of HM Ambassador to Germany, HE Sir Peter Torry. This concert was a centrepiece of the City's commemoration and an act of remembrance and reconciliation. In 2009 the Choir was privileged to travel to perform in Bach's own Church, the Thomaskirche in Leipzig in what was for all the singers, a very moving and important concert. In October 2011 the choir toured Rome performing in both La Chiesa di Sant'Agnese in Agone, Rome and The Venerable English College (colloquially referred to as English College), founded in 1579 by William Allen.
The Carols by Candlelight series perhaps merit a special mention having become something of a fixture in the pre-Christmas calendar in Bath. The first performance of ‘Carols’ was given in the Pump Room in December 1947, and has continued uninterrupted ever since. The Choir for "Carols" is selected by the Musical Director and is a sub-set of the Choir because space in the Pump Room is limited to about 30 singers. A recent innovation has been the inclusion of a ‘set’ from the Choir's junior section which is a favourite with audiences. In addition the Choir provides opportunities for talented young musicians to provide an interlude. Whilst the Choir has experimented with the number of performances of ‘Carols’ that it gives, it seems to have settled that a total of 3 performances as the optimum, and usually manages to completely sell-out the Pump Room for all three concerts.
The City of Bath Bach Choir today
Today the maximum number of singers the CBBC will admit is about 100, though the actual strength varies from time to time because of singer's commitments and the need for balance between voices. Singing with the City of Bath Bach Choir is always something of a musical challenge and singers are drawn from all walks of life from Bath and its environs and are accepted into the Choir after passing an audition to about ABRSM Grade 5 standard. The Choir has a policy of re-auditioning all singers every 4 years to ensure that the overall musical ability does not get diluted. Singing with the Choir entails a significant commitment of time and effort from its members. Singers are expected to take part in all three concerts every year which entails attendance at about twelve, two-hour rehearsals for each concert. In return for that commitment the Choir offers its singers the opportunity to sing challenging works at the very highest level with high quality, professional orchestras and soloists – exactly the same offering that was offered by Cuthbert Bates back in 1946. Singers pay an annual subscription which is intended to cover the annual running costs of the Choir, and the Choir has a policy of offering discounted subscriptions to students and unwaged singers, depending on their circumstances.
The Choir maintains an active list of Patrons and Friends who generously support the musical work of the Choir and who are offered a range of benefits in return for their support. The Choir is a Registered Charity and makes every effort to keep down the ticket prices for its concerts, though inevitably they must keep pace with the increased costs of hiring professional orchestras and soloists. A full scale concert with a professional orchestra and four top flight soloists will never make a profit, and so the Choir tries to achieve an overall financial balance throughout the year by subsidising its loss-making full scale concerts with profits from smaller scale events.
This article is a review of one of the choir's concerts in Bath Abbey, written by © Bath Chronicle (Peter Lloyd Williams) 
Music Australia Historic press release from Mr T. B. Donovan, Chairman, Publicity Committee, Bach Festival Office, about the 1954 Festival. 
The City of Bath Bach Choir is a Registered Charity No 1043756 
Review by Gordon Eggington, Wiltshire Times. 
Date Composer Work Venue 07 Jun 1947 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 23 Dec 1947 Various Carols by Candlelight Pump Room, Bath 24 Apr 1948 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 21 Dec 1948 Various Carols by Candlelight – 2nd Season Pump Room, Bath 21 May 1949 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 27 Jun 1949 Various Recital of Choral Music Bath Abbey 20/21 Dec 1949 Various Carols by Candlelight – 3rd Season Pump Room, Bath As a part of the 1st Bath Bach Festival - 14/21 Oct 14 Oct 1950 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 17 Oct 1950 J. S. Bach BWV 11 – Praise Our God; Jesu, Priceless Treasure; Magnificat Bath Abbey 19 Oct 1950 J. S. Bach St John Passion Bath Abbey 21 Oct 1950 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 19/20 Dec 1950 Various Carols by Candlelight - 4th Season Pump Room, Bath 26 May 1951 G. F. Handel Messiah Bath Abbey 2 Jun 1951 Various Unaccompanied Serenade Concert Roman Baths 8 Dec 1951 J. S. Bach Christmas Oratorio Bath Abbey 18/19 Dec 1951 Various Carols by Candlelight – 5th Season Pump Room, Bath 24 May 1952 J. Brahms A German Requiem Bath Abbey ? 17/18 Dec 1952 Various Carols by Candlelight – 6th Season Pump Room, Bath 17/24 May 1953 Various Unaccompanied Serenade Concert Roman Baths 23 May 1953 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 21/22Dec 1953 Various Carols by Candlelight – 7th Season Pump Room, Bath 26 May 1954 Mozart Beethoven Requiem Symphony no 7 in A major Forum As a part of the 2nd Bath Bach Festival 9–16 October 1954 09 Oct 1954 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 12 Oct 1954 J. S. Bach St. John Passion Bath Abbey 14 Oct 1954 J. S. Bach Cantata No 80 Ein’ feste Burg. Motet Sing ye to the Lord. Magnificat Bath Abbey 16 Oct 1954 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 20/21 Dec 1954 Various Carols by Candlelight – 8th Season Pump Room c. Allan Bennett 14 May 1955 J. Haydn Bath Abbey c. Josef Krips 7 July 1955 Various Mass in G Minor VW Bath Abbey c. Allan Bennett 19/20 Dec 1955 Various Carols by Candlelight – 9th Season Pump Room, Bath 19 Jan 1956 Haydn Creation Royal Festival Hall, London c. Josef Krips 26 May 1956 Beethoven Mass in D Bath Abbey c. Allan Bennett Autumn 1956 Tallis, Palestrina, Bousignac, Vaughan Williams Motet in 40 parts Spem in alium. Gloria in excelsis Deo. Jubilate Deo. The Voice out of the Whirlwind Bath Abbey 19/20 Dec 1956 Various Carols by Candlelight – 10th Season Pump Room, Bath Ralph Vaughan Williams Festival Concert – 1 June 1957 01 Jun 57 Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis. The Hundredth Psalm (c. R. Vaughan Williams). The Voice out of the Whirlwind. Sancta Vivitas. Bendedicte Bath Abbey 06 Dec 1957 J. S. Bach Christmas Oratorio Bath Abbey 18/19 Dec 1957 Various Carols by Candlelight – 11th Season Pump Room, Bath 07 Jun 1958 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor (Bath Festival) Bath Abbey Dr. Ralph Vaughan Williams, the Choir's President dies in August 1958 16/17/18 Dec 1958 Various Carols by Candlelight -12th Season Pump Room, Bath 28 Feb 1959 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion Bath Abbey Sir Arthur Bliss CH, KVCO, Master of the Queen's Musick, is appointed Choir President in August 1959 15/16/17 Dec 1959 Various Carols by Candlelight – 13th Season Pump Room, Bath 29 May 1960 J. S. Bach and others A programme of Anthems, Madrigals and Motets given as a part of the Bath Festival (d. Yehudi Menuhin) The Roman Baths (Bath) As a part of the 3rd Bath Bach Festival 22nd – 29 October 1960 22 Oct 1960 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 25 Oct 1960 J. S. Bach St John Passion Bath Abbey 27 Oct 1960 J. S. Bach Motet 'Be not afraid', Cantata No 4. Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049. Magnificat (Bach) in D major, BWV 243 Bath Abbey 29 Oct 1960 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 20/21/22 Dec 1960 Various Carols by Candlelight – 14th Season Pump Room, Bath 09 Jun 1961 Fauré Requiem Bath Abbey c. Nadia Boulanger 21 Oct 1961 Holst, Brahms Hymn to Jesus. A German Requiem Bath Abbey 19/20/21 Dec 1961 Various Carols by Candlelight – 15th Season Pump Room, Bath 26 May 1962 J. S. Bach, Vaughan Williams Sleepers Wake BWV 140. A Sea Symphony Bath Abbey ? Nov 62 Vivaldi Gloria RV 689 ? 03 Nov 1962 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 18/19/20 Dec 1962 Various Carols by Candlelight – 16th Season Pump Room, Bath 15 Jun 1963 Monteverdi, J. S. Bach Vespers of 1610. Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot, BWV 39 (c Yehudi Menuhin) Bath Abbey 19 Oct 1963 J. S. Bach St. John Passion Bath Abbey 17/18/19 Dec 1963 Various Carols by Candlelight – 17th Season Pump Room, Bath 13 Jun 1964 Mozart Requiem ? 22 Oct 1964 Various ?? Bath Abbey 15/16/17 Dec 1964 Various Carols by Candlelight – 18th Season Pump Room, Bath 19 June 1965 Haydn Nelson Mass (Bath Festival) Bath Abbey c István Kertész As a part of the 4th Bath Bach Festival 23–30 October 1965 23 Oct 1965 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 26 Oct 1965 J. S. Bach Cantata No 65. Brandenburg Concerto No 2. Motet for double choir "Sing Ye to the Lord". Cantata No 50. Bath Abbey 28 Oct 1965 J. S. Bach St. John Passion Bath Abbey 30 Oct 1965 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 21/22/23 Dec 1965 Various Carols by Candlelight – 19th Season Pump Room, Bath 3 July 1966 Various Unaccompanied Serenade Concert Roman Baths 22 Oct 1966 Handel, Duruflé Dixit Dominus. Requiem Bath Abbey 20/21/22 Dec 1966 Various Carols by Candlelight – 20th Season Pump Room, Bath 1 July 1967 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 9 July 1967 Various Serenade Concert Prior Park Chapel 19/20/21 Dec 1967 Various Carols by Candlelight – 21st Season Pump Room, Bath 26 June 1968 Tippett A Child of Our Time Wells Cathedral c. Sir Michael Tippett OM CH CBE 21 July 1968 Various Recital of unaccompanied Music Prior Park Chapel 03 Sep 1968 Various Selection of Unaccompanied Music Goslar 05 Sep 1968 J. Brahms, J. S. Bach Ein Deutsches Requiem. Magnificat (Bach) in D Minor BWV 243 Stadthalle, Braunschweig 12 Oct 1968 Haydn The Creation Bath Abbey 17/18/19 Dec 1968 Various Carols by Candlelight- 22nd Season Pump Room, Bath As a part of the 5th Bath Bach Festival 18th – 25 October 1969 18 Oct 1969 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 21 Oct 1969 J. S. Bach Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubilieret, BWV 31, Komm Jesu Komm, Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV 21 Pump Room c. Philip Ledger 25 Oct 1969 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 16/17/18 Dec 1969 Various Carols by Candlelight – 23rd Season Pump Room, Bath 11 June 1970 Various Music for voices and organ St Stephen's Church 15/16/17 Dec 1970 Various Carols by Candlelight – 24th Season Pump Room, Bath 02 Jun 1971 Berkeley, Stravinsky, Michael Rose, Herbert Howells, Monteverdi, A. Gabrieli, Byrd, J. S. Bach, Vaughan Williams, Michael Tippett Missa Brevis. Ave Maria. Sing to the Lord a joyful song. Master Tallis' Testament.
Ave Maris Stella from Vespers of 1610. Magnificat for 3 choirs. Vigilante. Contrapuncti 1. 12 & 18 from the Art of Fugue. O Vos Omnes. Festival Te Deum. Plebs Angelica
Bath Abbey 16 Oct 1971 Geminiani, J. S. Bach, Delalande, Handel Concerto Grosso in E minor, Mass in F, De Profundis, Chandos Anthem No 11a ‘Let God Arise’ [Played and sung from manuscript copies by kind courtesy of David Willcocks Esq. First performance in Bath.] Bath Abbey 15/16/17 Dec 1971 Various Carols by Candlelight -25th Season Pump Room, Bath 25 Mar 1972 J. S. Bach St John Passion Bath Abbey 21 Oct 1972 Schütz, Gabrielli, Buxtehude, Cavalli Der 136 Psalm. Three instrumental canzonas: Sonata 13 (1615), Canzone for 2 choirs (1597), Canzone for 3 choirs (1615). Heut Triumphieret Gottes Sohn from Orgelbüchlein. Messa Concertata Bath Abbey 13/14/15 Dec 1972 Various Carols by Candlelight – 26th Season Pump Room, Bath 23 Jun 1973 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 19/20/21 Dec 1973 Various Carols by Candlelight – 27th Season Pump Room, Bath 18 May 1974 W. A. Mozart Symphony No 41 in C (KV551) The Jupiter,. Mass in C Minor (KV427) Bath Abbey As a part of the 6th Bath Bach Festival 19–26 October 1974 19 Oct 1974 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 22 Oct 1974 J. S. Bach Cantata No 106. Brandenburg Concerto No 6. Cantata No 6. Magnificat in D Bath Abbey 24 Oct 1974 J. S. Bach St. John Passion Bath Abbey 26 Oct 1974 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 18/19/20 Dec 1974 Various Carols by Candlelight – 28th Season Pump Room, Bath Sir Arthur Bliss died on 27 Mar 1975 are was superseded as Choir President by Sir David Willcocks KCB CBE MC 19 Jul 1975 R. Vaughan Williams Benedicte. Serenade to Music. A Sea Symphony Bath Abbey 05 Nov 1975 Handel Scratch Messiah Assembly Rooms c Allan Bennett 17/18/19 Dec 1975 Various Carols by Candlelight -29th Season Pump Room, Bath The Choir gave 3 Concerts in 1976 to celebrate its 30th Anniversary 20 Mar 1976 Schütz, Handel, Duruflé Psalm 150 ‘Lobet den Herren’. Chandos Anthem No 6. Requiem Bath Abbey 03 Jul 1976 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Oxford Town Hall 09 Oct 1976 Mozart, Bruckner Symphony No 40 in G minor K550. Mass in F Minor Bath Abbey 21/22/23 Dec 1976 Various Carols by Candlelight – 30th Season Pump Room, Bath Allan Bennett, Hon. Accompanist and Deputy Conductor of the Choir died on 30 January 1977. He was succeeded in post by Richard Bates. The Queen's Silver Jubilee Concert 19 Mar 1977 Vaughan Williams, Charpentier, Handel, Purcell Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis. Mass for double choir. Organ concerto in F major Op 4 No 4. Coronation Anthem ‘My heart is indicting’ Bath Abbey As a part of the 7th Bath Bach Festival 15–22 October 1977 15 Oct 1977 J. S. Bach St. Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 18 Oct 1977 J. S. Bach Jesu, nun sei gepreiset’ BWV 78. Mass in F major. ‘Dies sind die helligen zehn Gebot’ BWV 41 Bath Abbey 20 Oct 1977 J. S. Bach St. John Passion Bath Abbey 22 Oct 1977 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey 20/21/22 Dec 1977 Various Carols by Candlelight 31st Season Pump Room, Bath 17 June 1978 J. S. Bach, W. F. Bach, J. S. Bach, J. C. Bach, C. P. E. Bach Bach Family Concert. Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild, BWV 79. Overture in D Minor. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80. Symphony in G Minor. Magnificat Dorchester Abbey 24 June 1978 J. S. Bach, W. F. Bach, J. S. Bach, J. C. Bach, C. P. E. Bach Bach Family Concert. Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild, BWV 79. Overture in D Minor. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80. Symphony in G Minor. Magnificat Bath Abbey 14 Oct 1978 Haydn, Brahms Paukenmesse. A German Requiem Bath Abbey 19/20/21 Dec 1978 Various Carols by Candlelight – 32nd Season Pump Room, Bath 29 Apr 1979 Palestrina, Byrd, Bousignac, Duruflé, Vaughan Williams Assumpta est Maria. Christe quit Lux es et Dies. Jubilate Deo. Ubi Caritas. Mass in G minor Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows, Prior Park College 30 Jun 1979 Verdi Requiem Bath Abbey 20 Oct 1979 Bononcini, Handel, Handel, Vivaldi Stabat Mater. Let God Arise! Dixit Dominus. Gloria RV 589 Bath Abbey 18/19/20 Dec 1979 Various Carols by Candlelight – 33rd Season Pump Room, Bath The Choir's founder, Cuthbert Bates, died unexpectedly on 19 April 1980. His son and daughter, Richard and Elizabeth Bates, organised a memorial concert for him on the 18th of June, and the Choir dedicated the concert on 12 July 1990 (which was to have been Cuthbert's last concert as conductor) to his memory. The conductor was the Choir's President, Sir David Willcocks 17 May 1980 Fauré, Mozart, Haydn Requiem, Symphony no 32 in G Major K 318, Harmonie-Messe Bath Abbey 18 Jun 1980 Tallis, Byrd, Brahms, Sir William Henry Harris Lamentations. Laudibus in Sanctis. Thy servant is downcast. Bring us, O Lord God Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows, Prior Park College c. R Bates and E Bates 20 Mar 1980 Beethoven Missa Solemnis Mass in D Bath Abbey c Denys Darlow 12 Jul 1980 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey c. Sir David Willcocks Under Denys Darlow as the Choir's Director of Music 15/16/17 Dec 1980 Various Carols by Candlelight – 34th Season Banqueting Room, Guildhall, Bath 31 Jan 1981 Bruckner, Mozart Mass in E Minor, 2 Orchestral Pieces Bath Abbey 28 Mar 1981 Elgar The Dream of Gerontius Bath Abbey 24 Oct 1981 Berlioz, Saint-Saëns Music for Praise and Reflection, Te Deum, Requiem Bath Abbey 15/16/17 Dec 1981 Various Carols by Candlelight – 35th Season Pump Room, Bath January 1982 - Marcus Sealy joins the Choir in succession to Richard Bates as accompanist, Deputy Director and continuo player 20 Mar 1982 Beethoven Missa Solemnis in D Bath Abbey As a part of the 8th Bath Bach Festival 16–23 October 1982 (Stephen Dodgson was composer in residence) 16 Oct 1982 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 19 Oct 1982 J. S. Bach Cantata No 215 Preise dein Glucke. Suite No 3 in D. Cantata No 206 Schleicht, spielende Wellen Bath Abby 23 Oct 1982 J. S. Bach, Stephen Dodgson Magnificat. Suite No 4 in D. Te Deum (World Premier) Bath Abbey 21/22/23 Dec 1982 Various Carols by Candlelight – 36th Season Pump Room, Bath 12 Mar 1983 Mozart, Schubert Requiem KV 626, Mass in E Flat Minor D950 Bath Abbey 30 Apr 1983 Mozart, Haydn, S. S. Wesley, Bairstow, Dupré, Britten Te Deum KV 141. Motet: In Sanae et Vanae Curiae. Psalm 96:115 Ascribe unto the Lord. Blessed City, Heavenly Salem. Cortège et Litanie. Hymn to St. Cecilia St. Mary's Bathwick c. Marcus Sealy 23 Jul 1983 Elgar, Britten, Schubert, Kelly Psalm 48 Great is the Lord, Psalm 29 Give unto the Lord, Missa Brevis. Salve Regina. Exultate. Surrexit Hodie Bath Abbey (Organ Only) 12 Nov 1983 J. S. Bach Christmas Oratorio Bath Abbey 21/22/23 Dec 1983 Various Carols by Candlelight – 37th Season Pump Room, Bath 31 Mar 1984 Brahms, Mozart A German Requiem. Symphony No 34 in C Minor Bath Abbey 31 Jul 1984 Fauré, Honegger Requiem. King David (Narrator: Richard Stilgoe) Bath Abbey 10 Nov 1984 Elgar The Dream of Gerontius Bath Abbey 19/20/21 Dec 1984 Various Carols by Candlelight – 38th Season Pump Room, Bath 16 Mar 1985 J. S. Bach St. Matthew Passion Bath Abbey 27 Jul 1985 Handel, Elgar The Ways of Zion do Mourn, Coronation Ode Bath Abbey 09 Nov 1985 Handel Alexander's Feast Bath Abbey 18/19/20 Dec 1985 Various Carols by Candlelight – 39th Season Pump Room, Bath 19 Apr 1986 Mozart, Darlow Missa Brevis in C (K258), Requiem (World Premier) Bath Abbey 28 Jun 1986 J. S. Bach, Kodály, Mozart Prelude & Fugue in C BWV547. Missa Brevis. Solemn Vespers Bath Abbey 15 Nov 1986 Beethoven, Howells Symphony No 3 in E Flat Op 55 (Eroica). Stabat Mater Bath Abbey 17/18/20 Dec 1986 Various Carols by Candlelight – 40th Season Pump Room c.Joyce Honor 28 Mar 1987 J. S. Bach Mass in A Major. Mass in G Minor. Double Violin Concerto Bath Abbey 27 Jun 1987 Duruflé, Poulenc Requiem. Litanies a la Vierge Noire Bath Abbey (Organ only) 14 Nov 1987 J. S. Bach Christmas Oratorio Bath Abbey Dec 1987 Various Carols by Candlelight – 41st Season Pump Room c. Elizabeth Bates 23 Apr 1988 Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Parry Introduction and Allegro. Donna nobis pacem. Invocation to Music Bath Abbey 09 Jul 1988 Elgar, Coleridge-Taylor Bavarian Highlands. Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. Victorian Songs Michael Tippett Centre, Bath Spa University c. Marcus Sealy. 12 Nov 1988 Vaughan Williams, Howells Sea Symphony, Piano Concerto Bath Abbey 14/15/16 Dec 1988 Various Carols by Candlelight – 42rd Season Pump Room c. Elizabeth Bates 29 Apr 1989 Handel Israel in Egypt Bath Abbey 08 Jul 1989 Stanford Songs of the Fleet, The Revenge Michael Tippett Centrec. Marcus Sealy 04 Nov 1989 Haydn Te Deum and Mass Bath Abbey 20/21/22 Dec 1989 Various Carols by Candlelight – 43rd Season Pump Room c. Elizabeth Bates Nigel Perrin Appointed as Director of Music in March 1990 21 Apr 1990 Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 Bath Abbey 07 Jul 1990 Vaughan Williams, Fauré, Horovitz Shakespeare Songs. Cantique de Jean Racine. Captain Noah Michael Tippett Centre 10 Nov 1990 Handel Coronation Anthems. Organ Concertos Bath Abbey 19/20/21 Dec 1990 Various Carols by Candlelight – 44th Season Pump Room c Nigel Perrin and Elizabeth Bates 13 Apr 1991 J. S. Bach, Mendelssohn Komm Jesus, Komm. Hymn of Praise Bath Abbey 06 Jul 1991 Vaughan Williams, Purcell Oxford Elegy. Come Ye Sons of Art Assembly Rooms 27 Aug 1991 Handel, Handel, Ireland, Handel The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. Zadok the Priest. Concerto Pastorale for Strings. The King Shall rejoice Braunschweiger Dom with the Apollo Ensemble 28 Aug 1991 Schubert, Schumann, Hassler, Fauré, Purcell, Purcell Der Tanz. Somerleid. Tanzen und Springen. Cantique de Jean Racine. Come Ye Sons of Art. Birthday Ode for Queen Mary 1694 Braunschweiger Dom with the Apollo Ensemble 09 Nov 1991 Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Mozart Magnificat. Gloria RV 589. Slemn Vespers Bath Abbey 18/19.20 Dec 1991 Various Carols by Candlelight – 45th Season Pump Room, Bath 11 Apr 1992 J. S. Bach, Antonín Tučapský Magnificat. Stabat Mater (in presence of composer) Bath Abbey 11 Jul 1992 Carl Orff, Lambert Carmina Burana, Rio Grande Assembly Rooms 14 Nov 1992 Rossini Petit Messe Solenelle Bath Abbey 16/17/18 Dec 1992 Various Carols by Canbdlelight – 46th Season Pump Room, Bath 17 Apr 1993 Haydn Creation Bath Abbey 03 Jul 1993 Gershwin, Unknown, Tippett Porgy and Bess. Missa Luba. Negro Spirituals Assembly Rooms 13 Nov 1993 J. S. Bach, Britten Wachet Auf. St. Nicholas Bath Abbey 15/16/17 Dec 1993 Various Carols by Candlelight – 47th Season Pump Room, Bath 26 Mar 1994 J. S. Bach St. John Passion Bath Abbey 09 Jul 1994 Various A night at the Opera Assembly Rooms 12 Nov 1994 Fauré, Pärt Requiem. Stabat Mater (Collection of £750 taken for the Estonian Ferry Disaster) Bath Abbey Dec 1994 Various Carols by Candlelight – 48th Season Pump Room, Bath Apr 1995 Mendelssohn Elijah Forum Jul 1995 Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts (with other NFMS Societies) Imperial College, London Nov 1995 Mozart As a part of the Bath Mozartfest. Requiem, Ave Verum Corpus Forum Dec 1995 Various Carols by Candlelight – 49th Season Pump Room, Bath Apr 1996 Rossini, Mozart Stabat Mater. Coronation Mass Forum Jul 1996 Fanshawe African Sanctus Forum Nov 1996 Mozart As a part of the Bath Mozartfest. Coronation Mass Forum 18/19/20 Dec 1996 Various Carols by Candlelight – 50th Season Pump Room, Bath 1997 was the Choir's 50th Anniversary Year 24 Apr 97 Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 Bath Abbey 26 Apr 97 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey c. Sir David Willcocks Jul 1997 Handel Acis and Galatea Assembly Rooms Nov 1997 Mozart As a part of the Bath Mozartfest. Misericordias Dominum. Solemn Vespers Forum Dec 1997 Various Carols by Candlelight – 51st Season Pump Room, Bath Apr 1998 Verdi Requiem Forum 04 Jul 1998 Burrell, Dvořák, Britten, Bernstein Benedicam Dominum, Mass in D, Rejoice in the Lamb. Chichester Psalms Bath Abbey 15 Nov 1998 Mozart As a part of the Bath Mozartfest. Dominican Vespers Forum 16/17/18 Dec 1998 Various Carols by Candlelight – 52nd Season Pump Room, Bath 27 Mar 1999 Walton, Elgar, Poulenc Crown Imperial. The Music Makers. Gloria Forum 03 Jul 1999 Rutter, Elgar, Kodály Gloria. Give Unto the Lord. Missa Brevis Clifton Cathedral, Bristol 07/09 Oct 1999 Mozart, Handel Mass in C K317. Coronation Anthems Reformed Templon, Kaposvár, and Pasarét Templon, Budapest 06 Nov 1999 Mozart As a part of the Bath Mozartfest. Requiem (Duncan Druce Edition) Bath Abbey 15/16/17 Dec 1999 Various Carols by Candlelight – 53rd Season Pump Room, Bath 08 Apr 2000 Walton, Puccini Belshazzar's Feast. Messa di Gloria. (with Bath Choral Society) Forum 15 Jul 2000 Various A Night at the Opera (with the Béla Vikár Choir from Kaposvár, Hungary) Assembly Rooms 26 Oct 2000 Various, Brahms Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen and other pieces St Salvator's Cathedral, Bruges 11 Nov 2000 Brahms As a part of the Bath Mozartfest. Ein Deutsches Requiem Op. 45 Forum c. Martyn Brabbins Dec 2000 Various Carols by Candlelight – 54th Season Pump Room, Bath 07 Apr 2001 Bach St. Matthew Passion (Neil Jenkins Edition) Bath Abbey Jul 2001 Various In the Mood – music on the lighter side. Including Stanford: Songs of the Fleet and Flanders and Horrowitz: Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo Michael Tippett Centre 10 Nov 2001 Haydn Paukenmesse Bath Abbey Dec 2001 Various Carols by Candlelight – 55th Season Pump Room 06 Apr 2002 Elgar The Dream of Gerontius. Second performance on 10 Apr 02 in collaboration with the Exeter Festival Chorus Forum & Exeter Cathedral Jul 2002 Orff Carmina Burana and other works Assembly Rooms 30 Nov 2002 Haydn, Britten, Tavener Missa Sancti Nicolai, Saint Nicholas, God is with us Wells Cathedral Dec 2002 Various Carols by Candlelight – 56th Season Pump Room, Bath 22 Mar 2003 Lloyd, Rossini Requiem Aeternam (second performance in the presence of the composer)
Petite Messe Solonnelle
Bath Abbey 12 Jul 2003 Sullivan West End! A programme including excerpts from Les Misérables and a performance of Trial by Jury Wiltshire Music Centre 01 Nov 2003 Handel, Handel, Vivaldi Ode to St. Cecilia. Silente Venti. Gloria (RV 589) Casella ed. The Forum 16/17/18/19 Dec 2003 Various Carols by Candlelight – 57th Season Pump Room, Bath 07 Mar 2004 J. S. Bach Mass in B Minor Bath Abbey Jul 2004 Ramírez, Jean Berger, Chilcott Songs from the Southern Hemisphere. Missa Criolla. Psalmo Brasileiro. The Making of the Drum Tippett Centre 14 & 30 Oct 2004 Britten A War Requiem (with Braunschweiger Domchor, Bath Choral Society and the boys of Bristol Cathedral choir.) Brunswick Cathedral & Colston Hall, Bristol 14/15/16/17 Dec 2004 Various Carols by Candlelight – 58th Season Pump Room, Bath 19 Mar 2005 J. S. Bach Semi-staged St John Passion (Neil Jenkins Edition) Forum Jul 2005 Various The Grand Tour a musical travelogue Wiltshire Music Centre Nov 2005 Karl Jenkins, Rutter An Armed Man - A Mass for Peace. Requiem Forum Dec 2005 Various Carols by Candlelight – 59th Season Pump Room, Bath 01 Apr 2006 J. S. Bach St Matthew Passion (Neil Jenkins edition) Forum 08 Jul 2006 Vaughan Williams, George Shearing and others Sonnets & Songs with a Shakespearean flavour Wiltshire Music Centre 28 Oct 2006 Karl Jenkins, Haydn Requiem. Nelson Mass Bath Abbey 13/14/15 Dec 2006 Various Carols by Candlelight – 60th Season Pump Room, Bath 31 Mar 2007 Mozart, Beethoven ‘Great’ Mass in C Minor K427. Christus am Ölberge Op 85 Forum 60th Anniversary Concert 14 Jul 2007 Hughes, Rutter, Purcell Song for St. Cecilia (Commission - First Performance). Birthday Madrigals. Birthday Ode for Queen Mary Come Ye Sons of Art Wiltshire Music Centre 03 Nov 2007 J. S. Bach, Rossini As a part of Nigel Perrin's Gala Concert. Lobet den Herrn. Peiite Messe Solonelle Forum 19/20/21 Dec 2007 Various Carols by Candlelight – 61st Season Pump Room, Bath 21 Jan 08 Karl Jenkins Requiem - New York Premier Carnegie Hall, New York, USA 15 Mar 2008 Duruflé Requiem and works by Fauré, Messiaen, Poulenc Vierne and Hakim. Bath Abbey 12 July 2008 Vaughan Williams An Evening with Ralph Vaughan Williams and Friends. Works by Wood, Parry, Stanford, Holst, Bruch, Ravel, Finzi and Vaughan Williams to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Vaughan Williams's death Wiltshire Music Centre 01 Nov 2008 Pehkonen, Hughes, Vivaldi Russian Requiem. A Song for St. Cecilia. Gloria (RV589) Bath Abbey 17/19 Dec 2008 Various Carols by Candlelight – 62nd Season Pump Room, Bath 28 Mar 2009 Handel; Karl Jenkins Messiah Part II; Stabat Mater Bath Abbey 04 Jul 2009 Will Todd Mass in Blue Wiltshire Music Centre 24 Oct 2009 J. S. Bach, Britten, Bruckner Lobet den Herrn; Rejoice in the Lamb; Locutus Iste; Ave Maria; Tota Pulchra Est Thomaskirche, Leipzig 07 Nov 2009 J. S. Bach, Britten, Bruckner Lobet den Herrn; Jesu meine Freude; Rejoice in the Lamb; Tota pulchra es; Ecce sacrados; Afferentur regi; Inveni David Bath Abbey 16/18 Dec 2009 Various Carols by Candlelight – 63rd Season Pump Room, Bath Nigel Perrin's 20th Anniversary Concert 27 Mar 2010 Monteverdi; Rossini; J. S. Bach Beatus Vir; Stabat Mater; Cantata BWV 182 Himmelskönig, sei willkommen Bath Abbey 19 Jun 2010 Brahms, Horovitz Ein deutsches Requiem Op. 45; Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo (performed by The CBBC Junior Choir with support from the Senior Choir) Wiltshire Music Centre 03 Jul 2010 Brahms, Horovitz Ein deutsches Requiem Op. 45; Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo (performed by The CBBC Junior Choir with support from the Senior Choir) Malmesbury Abbey 06 Nov 2010 Monteverdi, Chilcott Hymns and Psalms; Salisbury Vespers
Performed with Bath Camerata
Bath Abbey 15/17 Dec 2010 Various Carols by Candlelight – 64th Season Pump Room, Bath 19 Mar 2011 Mendelssohn Elijah Bath Abbey 16 Jul 2011 Tippett, Dahl, Ellington Five Negro Spirituals (from Child of our Time); Songs by Roald Dahl (performed by The CBBC Junior Choir with Jamie Knights, Piano, Adrienne Hale Conducting); Pacific Song (with Marcus Sealy, Piano); Sacred Concert (Andy Williamson – saxes, Pete Judge – trumpet, Robin Holloway – piano, Al Swainger – double bass, Andy Hague – drums). Wiltshire Music Centre 22 Oct 2011 Nystedt, Górecki, Ellington, Mozart, Bruckner, Rossinni, Whitaker, Monteverdi, Tippett, Laudate Domninum; Totus Tuus Op 60; Come Sunday (arr John Høybye); Ave Verum Corpus; Locus Iste; Quando Corpus, Lux Arumque, Cantate Donini, Five Negro Spirituals (from Child of our Time); La Chiesa di Sant'Agnese in Agone, Rome 23 Oct 2011 Nystedt, Bruckner, Rossinni Laudate Domninum; Locus Iste, Quando Corpus The Venerable English College, Rome
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