Bainton wrote choral works throughout his life, stimulated by the
thrilling sound of the great choral tradition, thriving in Newcastle
and the North of England, where he lived from 1901 until his emigration
to Australia in 1934. The works below are listed in chronological order,
though reference should be made to the Appendix for extra material.
The finest of Bainton s choral works date from the 1920s, when his creative
language reached its maturest and finest expression.
THE BLESSED DAMOZEL (Dante Gabriel Rossetti) Op.11(with
mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists).
Completion: July 1906 - March 1907.
Published: Vocal score - Breitkopf and Hartel, London, Edition no. 25861.
MS full score and parts originally on hire, now part of Mitchell Library
First performance: Katharine Vincent, Frederic Austin, The Newcastle
and Gateshead Choral Union and Orchestra, cond. Bainton, Newcastle
Town Hall, 22/11/07.
Availability: Set of vocal scores at Dorking Performing Arts Library,
Surrey (39 copies).
SUNSET AT SEA Op.20(Reginald Buckley), Chorus
completion: March 1909 - April 1910.
Published: Vocal score - Stainer and Bell, London, 1912, Enquiries to
Stainer and Bell, PO BOX 110. Victoria House, 23 Gruneisen Road, LONDON
N3 1DZ, Tel: 0181 343 3303, FAX: 0181 343 3024. Copy in British Library.
MS: Full Score and parts originally on hire, currently missing.
First performance: Edward Mason Choir and Orchestra, London, 25/3/12
Recordings: None Further note: A planned performance by the Broadheath Singers
under Robert Tucker during the 1980s at Eton abandoned when score and
parts could not be found.
THE VINDICTIVE STAIRCASE Op. 29(W.W. Gibson) Humoreske
for Chorus and Orchestra
Completed: March 22 - April 1913, Full score July let, 1913.
Published: Vocal score, Stainer and Bell, London, 1913, enquiries to
address as above. MS full score and parts originally held on hire, now
First performance: Edward Mason Choir and Orchestra, London, 18/3/14.
A SONG OF FREEDOM AND JOY (Edward Carpenter ) Op.24
Chorus and Orchestra
Completion: between June 14th. 1910 and April 28th. 1920.
Published Vocal score, John Curwen and Sons, London, Curwen Edition
no. 3611 Copy of score in British Library. This work is listed under
the Curwen holdings of Music Sales Ltd, 8-9 Frith Street, London W1V
MS Full score and parts originally held on hire by Curwen - possibly
First performance: Newcastle and Gateshead Choral Union and
Orchestra, cond. Bainton, 1919 season.
THE TOWER (Robert Nichols) for Chorus and Orchestra.
Completion: 17th September 23, full score 25th April 24.
Written for the Hereford Three Choirs Festival at the request of Sir
Published: Vocal score, John Curwen and sons, London, Curwen Edition
no. 3658 copy held by British Library
MS Full score and parts held on hire, parts lost, full score now in
British Library: Add MS 57296.
First Performance: Three Choirs Festival, Hereford Cathedral, 1924,
THE DANCING SEAL (W.W.Gibson) A Humoreske for Chorus and Orchestra.
Completion; April 25th 1921 - September 29th 1926.
Published: Vocal score, Oxford University Press, 1926. Reprint copies
available from: The Oxford Music Archive Service , The Old Forge, Sand
Hutton, YORK YO4 1LB, Tel: 01904 468 472, FAX: 01904 468 679.
MS Full score and parts originally on hire, parts now lost, full score
now in the Mitchell Library collection but photocopy study score is
held by the Edgar Bainton (UK) Society (EBS),
First performance: So far untraced.
Recording: Private recording exists of a concert performance (with piano-duet
accompaniment), given during the 1980s by the Egham Choral Society,
cond. Guy Scott-Turner (copy with EBS).
A HYMN TO GOD THE FATHER (John Donne) for Chorus and Orchestra.
Completion: May 30th 1921 - May 10th 1926. Written For the
Worcester Three Choirs Festival and dedicated to William Gillies Whittaker.
Published: Vocal score, Oxford University Press, 1926. Reprint copies
available to order from address as above.
MS Full score and parts originally on hire, parts now lost and autograph
full score assigned to EBS in January 1993. It is at present on an extended
loan to Bournemouth Exhibition (Russell Coates Museum) as part of Centenary
Commemoration of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. A photocopy study
score is held by EBS; The
copyist s score now at the Australian Music Centre, Sydney.
First performance: Three Choirs Festival, Worcester, 1926, composer
MIGNON S REQUIEM (Goethe and Carlyle) for Boys voices, Chorus
Bainton s notebook lists this work as completed in March
1904, but no materials relating to the work have been found.
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF DANTE Op.18 for Soloists, Chorus
Started May 1908, vocal score form by December; mention of
a possible copy made May 1909 but believed to have been left unrevised
and unscored though complete.
Unpublished: MS Vocal score and sketches now in Library of the Birmingham
Conservatoire (photocopy with EBS). It has been thought that it might
have been a response to a possible request from the B'ham Triennial
TO THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME (Richard Crashaw) for Soprano,
Chorus and Orch.
Completion; August 10th 1928.
Unpublished: MS now in Mitchell Library collection; It is not known
at present if the work survives in either full or vocal score form.
(Francis Thompson), Chorus and Orchestra.
Completion: August - October 1931
.Also SYMPHONY NO. 1 BEFORE SUNRISE for Contralto Solo, Chorus
Orchestra technically comes under this listing, details in Orchestral
Chamber music meant a great deal to Bainton. As an excellent pianist
who broadcast in the UK, India and Australia, and commercially recorded
one of his works, he also enjoyed an extensive career as ensemble pianist
in the Newcastle area and was part of an established Trio with Alfred
Wall (violin) and Carl Fuchs (Principal Cello of the
Hallé Orchestra). He was also the 'annotator of programme notes'
for the Newcastle Chamber Music Society, of which he was presented with
a complete bound set on his emigration to Australia in 1934.
STRING QUARTET IN A MAJOR
Originally written in Ruhleben Internment Camp, Berlin, from April 6th
October 1st 1915 as a cyclic work in three movements. First performed
in this form at the De Lara British Music Concerts, London, June 25th
1919. Subsequently withdrawn, extensively revised and a Finale added
by July 24th 1920.
Unpublished: MS full score survives from its original version, but
with heavy revisions and new parts in the composer s hand. All material
held at the Australian Music Centre, Sydney, (photocopy with
the Edgar Bainton (UK) Society (EBS).
First performance: As above - possibly by the Philharmonic Quartet
(Beckwith, Goossens, Jeremy and Sharpe) ref. Helen Bainton: 'Remembered
on Waking' , Currawong Press, Sydney, 1960, page 37.
Recordings: The Austral Quartet (Elliott, Ryder, Cragg, Elmaloglou),
Festival disc FC/30802, Universal Record Club disc 586. Also recorded
for BBC Radio 3 at Manchester studios c.1990 by the Alberni Quartet
(Davis, Pople, Best, Smith). No transmission to date (1997).
SONATA FOR CELLO AND PIANO
Composition: September 15th - October 20th 1924
Unpublished: Original MS originally held by Helen Bainton, - lost/stolen
while temporarily out of her hands. Exists as copyist's score and part
- microfilm lodged with ABC Federal Library, Sydney, Australia. Copy
held by EBS
First performance: Written for Carl Fuchs. The premiere is believed
to have been given by him and the composer in the Manchester area c.
1924, currently untraced but see W.W. Cobbett: 'Cyclopaedia of
Chamber Music' under 'Music Making in Manchester'.
Recording: John Kennedy (cello) and the Composer, for Australian Columbia
LOX 811/2, (78RPM) 1951. Copies at ABC Federal Library, National Film
and Sound Archive, Canberra, and EBS.
Appendix Composer 's notebook also lists:
QUINTET FOR PIANO AND STRINGS Op.9
Completion: September 1904, whereabouts of MS unknown.
STRING QUARTET Op.26
First performance: Dunhill Chamber Concerts, London c.1911.
Whereabouts of MS unknown, possibly withdrawn by composer.
Church and Organ Music
Bainton is most remembered today for his church music, but there is
more than just the one famous anthem that deserves to be revived. As
an organist Bainton had played before Queen Victoria while a student
at the Royal College of Music, and upon retirement from the New South
Wales Conservatorium, Sydney, took over temporarily as Organist/Director
of Music at St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, after the unexpected death
of T.W. Beckett.
AND I SAW A NEW HEAVEN
Completion: June 13th 1928.
Published: Novello 1925, S.A.T.B. and Organ, whereabouts of MS unknown.
First performance: currently untraced nevertheless widely performed
as the composer's most well-known work.
Recordings: Many from around the world. Also used for special occasions,
such as the Royal Maundy Service, April 12th 1979, and the Hillsborough
Memorial Service, Liverpool Cathedral, April 1989.
Average timing; 4 ½ minutes.
Additional comments: Although normally performed with organ the conductor
Guy Scott-Turner has prepared an accompaniment for orchestra: 222(Bb)2/223+
Tuba/Timp/strings. A copy of the score is held by the Edgar Bainton
Society (EBS). Enquiries to Guy Scott-Turner via the Society.
FANTASIA ON THE PLAINSONG MELODY VEXILLA REGIS
Completion: June 29th 1925
Published: J.Albert and Son Pty, Ltd, GPO BOX 4899, Sydney, NSW 2001
Australia 1973. Timing: c. 4 minutes.
FIAT LUX for ''4-part chorus S.A.T.B."
Completed: May 8th 1928 (for the Duchess of Montrose), words; Lady Dufferin.
There is an unexplained mystery concerning this anthem: Bainton's notebook
assigns it to 'Novello' and is listed in Helen Bainton: 'Remembered
on Waking', Currawong Press, Sydney, 1960, page 114.
However, no copy is retained by the British Library and Novello's have
no record of its existence, so at present it has to be presumed lost.
WHO CAN NUMBER THE SAND OF THE SEA? for "S.A.T.B."
Completed: May 11th 1914
Unpublished: whereabouts of MS score unknown.
OPEN THY GATES
Completion: June 29th 1931
Published: Oxford University Press, S.A.T.B. unaccompanied, words: R.Herrick,
Availability: Reprint from 'The Oxford Music Archive Service', The Old
Forge, Sand Hutton, York Y04 1LB, Tel. O1904 468 472 (Fax 01904 468
Recordings : The Tudor Singers, cond. Guy Scott-Turner, Felsted School
Chapel, on MW 932 (LP), recorded 1982. Timing: 1 minute 47 seconds.
Also on CD: The City Chamber Choir of London, oond. Stephen Jones on
BMS 417CD 'Songs of Springtime' timing: 2 mins. 16 seconds.
CHRIST IN THE WILDERNESS
Completion: June 27th 1922.
Published: Oxford University Press, S.A.T.B. unaccompanied, words R.
Graves. Now available in a reprint from Banks Music Archive as above.
Recordings; The Tudor Singers record listed as above. Timing: 3'44".
Also on CD: BMS 417CD 'Songs of Springtime' as above, timing: 3'54~.
Australian listing: Adelaide Singers' conductor Patrick Thomas, ABC
THE HEAVENS DECLARE THY GLORY
Completion: May 13th - 20th 1912
Published: John Curwen and Sons, London, 1913, Curwen Edition no. 80549,
Church Choralist no. 549) - now listed with Music Sales 8/9 Frith
Street, London. Copy held in British Library, London, ref. E.1330.
SYMPHONIES AND OTHER ORCHESTRAL WORKS
Bainton placed great faith in his orchestral works. They represent on
their clarity of orchestration and level of inspiration an important
part of his entire output. His symphonic works in particular are some
of his most personal creations, particularly his Third Symphony,
which was nearly left unfinished due to his wife's death, and
completed only weeks before his own, being premiered posthumously in
Apart from two works published in the UK, all the MSS and performing
materials of Bainton's orchestral works reside in Australia and may
come under the jurisdiction of the Australian copyright
representative for the Bainton estate.
SYMPHONY no. 1 'BEFORE SUNRISE' for Contralto Solo, Chorus
Completion: 16/12/1907, but not brought to public attention until 1917
as a recipient of one of the First Carnegie British Music Awards.
Published: Stainer and Bell, London, Vocal score ed. 2005 (1920).
Full score in 1922 as part of 'The Carnegie Collection of British Music'.
First Performance: 06/04/21, Newcastle and Gateshead Choral Union and
Orchestra, conducted by the composer; Newcastle Town Hall. Review in
the TIMES, April 7th.
Printed performing materials from: Stainer and Bell, PO BOX 110, Victoria
House, 82 Gruneisen Road, LONDON N3 1DZ (Tel. 0181 343 3303, FAX 0181
343 3024) also Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Library and BBC Library.
Recordings: 1st. Movement 'Genesis' only: The BBC Concert Orchestra,
conductor Barry Wordsworth, broadcast as part of Radio 3 documentary
series about the Carnegie Trust, presented by Lewis Foreman.
SYMPHONY no 2 in D MINOR (1939-40)
Started in summer 1933 as a symphonic poem: 'Thalassa', re-worked
during a summer holiday in Bundenoon, Australia, 1939 and completed
over the next few months.
Unpublished: MS Full Score and parts: ABC Federal Music Library, Remington
Centre, 169 Liverpool Street, SYDNEY, NSW 2000, Australia.
Completion: July 1904, but re-written and re-scored June 1913 hence
low Op. no
Unpublished' MS Full score and parts in Mitchell Library Collection.
Instrumentation: currently unknown.
First Performance: Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, 31st August 1921
cond. Bainton, then subsequently Bournemouth 12th January 1922, cond.
Recording: None known,
THREE PIECES FOR ORCHESTRA; Elegy, Intermezzo and Humoresque.
These pieces started life as incidental music for Shakespeare plays
performed in Ruhleben Internment Camp, Berlin - no. 2 as entr acte to
the Windsor Forest scene in 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' (1916
Tercentenary Production), no. 3 as an entr acte for 'Twelfth Night'
Unpublished: MS Full score and parts at ABC Federal Music Library.
first two items: first performance at the Henry Wood Promenade
Concerts, 20/09/19, cond. Bainton, subsequently at Bournemouth, 17/04/20.
First complete performance: Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra/Bainton,
6th January 1921, also: Three Choirs festival, Hereford, summer 1921.
Recording: The Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Joseph Post, (11 mins.
40secs.), 13/12/67 on ABC RRCS/128, also ABC tape PSM/5069.
CONCERTO FANTASIA for Piano and Orchestra
Started in Ruhleben, June 1917, completed January 27th. 1920.
Published: Stainer and Bell, London, 1922 as part of the 'Carnegie
Collection of British Music' (awarded 1920). Two-piano score ed. no.
2017, printed full score and parts available from: Stainer and Bell
(for address see 'Before Sunrise), BBC Music Library, London, NSW
Conservatorium, Sydney. Copy of two-piano score at The British Music
Information Centre' 10 Stratford Place, LONDON W1N 9AE.
Instrumentation: currently untraced.
First performance: Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra/Sir Dan Godfrey,
with the composer as soloist, (6th January 1921 (see above: 'Three
Pieces for Orchestra')
Also: Second performance there 12th January 1922 conducted Bainton
with Winifred Christie as soloist, prior to first London performance
at the Royal Philharmonic Society Concert, Queen's Hall, 26th January
Recordings: BBC broadcast: Hamish Milne (piano), BBC Concert
Orchestra, Ashley Lawrence, 1987 (broadcast four times since). Also
ABC recording, (1977) Ffrangcon Davies (soloist), Adelaide Symphony
PAVANE, IDYLL AND BACCHANAL for Strings
Published: Oxford University Press, 1925, no. 2 of 'Oxford
Orchestral Sets' ed. W.G. Whittaker. Printed score and parts.
Instrumentation: Strings with flute in Idyll, tambourine in Bacchanal.
Performing sets available in several venues in Britain and Australia
including Birmingham Conservatoire, Music Library, Paradise Place,
BIRMINGHAM B3 3HG, Bournemouth Orchestra Library (address as above),
ABC Federal Music Library and NSW Conservatorium Library.
First Performance: currently untraced.
Recordings: Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Joseph Post (10 mins. 30 secs.)
20/09/68 on ABC RRCS/128, also ABC tape PSM 5069. An ABC archive
recording also exists of the above orchestra conducted by the
composer in 1954.
Completion: March 30th - June 12th 1929.
Unpublished: MS Full score and parts: ABC Federal Music Library, also
dupl. at NSW Conservatorium Library.
First performance: Three Choirs Festival, 11/09/29 conducted Bainton.
Subsequent performances: Bournemouth 09/01/30 cond. Bainton, also at
Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, 11/08/32 cond. Bainton - broadcast
live by BBC. Also featured in BBC British Music Festival: BBC
Symphony Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult. Recording: ABC broadcast: the
Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Patrick Thomas.
ECLOGUE for Orchestra
Completion; May 21st 1923
Unpublished: MS Full score etc. currently missing: not listed at
Mitchell Library or other regular sources.
Instrumentation and Recording: unknown.
First performance: Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra Cond, Bainton, 5th
January 1928, also the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts 8th
September 1928, cond. Bainton (listed as First Concert Performance
AN ENGLISH IDYLL (Words: Neville Cardus) for Baritone and Orchestra.
Written for Bainton's Farewell Concert at the NSW Conservatarium, 1946.
Unpublished: MS Full score and parts: ABC Federal Library (with vocal
Instrumentation; 222274231/timp/hp/str and Baritone soloist.
First performance: Harold Williams with the Sydney Symphony
Orchestra/Bainton as above - reviewed by the lyricist!
Recording: ABC broadcast of 1977, details currently unknown.
TWO SONGS for Baritone and Orchestra Op. 13 (Words: Edward Carpenter)
Begun: April 1908, completed July 1910.
Unpublished: MS Full score and parts originally held by the Rutland
Boughton Trust, now assigned to the Mitchell Library Collection with
duplicate retained by Edgar Bainton Society (EBS).
Instrumentation: 2122/4231/timp/hp/str and Baritone soloist.
First performance: currently unknown
Recording: None known.
'SWEET NIGHTINGALE' - An English Folk Song, arranged Bainton
Completion: date unknown
Unpublished: MS Full score and parts at ABC Federal Library.
First performance: unknown recording: none known unless broadcast by
ABC at some stage.
MUSIC FOR A TRAGEDY
Completion: Date unknown
Unpublished: MS score believed lost, parts only at ABC Federal Library.
First performance: unknown.
Recording: unknown, unless as ABC broadcast.
Music for film; 'BUSH POLICEMEN'
Written for the Australian Film Unit, 1953, Duration 10 minutes (1
reel). Listed at the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra.
Unpublished: MS score at the Mitchell Library Collection.
The following works are now lost, possibly destroyed/disowned by the
SYMPHONY in B flat ( A PHANTASY OF LIFE AND PROGRESS') Op. 5
Completion: February 1903
Unpublished: MS missing.
First performance: Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra/Bainton, 15/10/03,
detailed description contained in programme note for this concert. No
other performance traced. Listed erroneously as 'Op.9' at Bournemouth).
FOUR DANCES: Morris Dance, Minuet, Pavane, Valse Op. 21
Completion: April - July 1909
Unpublished: MS missing.
First performance: Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra/Bainton, 15/12/l0,
also given at Newcastle Philharmonic Society/Bainton. Tyne Theatre,
18/05/11 (without no. 2).
First performance: Newcastle Philharmonic Society/Bainton, 01/OZ/1Z
(3.00 p.m.) also at Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra/Bainton, 28/03/12
and Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, 10/10/12, cond. Bainton (listed as
'First London Performance')
Founding Editor Rob Barnett Editor in Chief
John Quinn Seen & Heard Editor Emeritus Bill Kenny MusicWeb Webmaster
David Barker Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf MusicWeb Founder Len Mullenger