David Lancaster

Dragon Music Publishing

03 Sep 2017, Article
The Dark Gate
My song setting for soprano and piano ‘The Dark Gate’ is based around five poems by David Vogel.   First performed in York (5 th August 2017 by Peyee Chen and Kate Ledger) the work draws its title from Vogel’s only collection of poetry to be published during his lifetime; ominously it could also refer to the image of the gatehouse at Auschwitz-Birkenau where Vogel met his death in 1944.   The songs are sung continuously, without a break, although the contrasts between the songs are quite ...
03 Sep 2017, Article
Review of 2016
I would just like to record my sincere thanks to all of the fantastic performers who sang, played and conducted my music last year and who made 2016 such a very special year for me. It started in Copenhagen in early February, when the Danish Radio Vocal Ensemble – an astonishing 20-strong choir of superb singers) gave three stunning performances of my Apocalypse under the direction of Robert Hollingworth. One was in the studios of Danish Radio but the others were in the magnificent baroque setting of ...
29 Jul 2016, Article
Breathless and Tlatelolco
My colleague at York St John University, Dr Victoria Carpenter, had spoken about the massacre at Tlatelolco during a conference in September 2015, and she introduced me to the poem by Marcela del Rio which Victoria subsequently translated into English.  There are so many things we still don't know about the massacre (which took place at Tlatelolco, Mexico, on 2nd October 1968, on the eve of the Olympic Games.  The picture shows the crowd gathering for a peaceful protest, similar to those ...
29 Jul 2016, Article
Albany Trio premieres Hiraeth
Many composers have recorded that they have found piano trios especially difficult to write because the sheer power of the piano can dominate the ensemble (although this was never a problem with the Albany Trio); for me the problem was compounded because - just before beginning work on the trio - I completed writing the commentary on my PhD composition portfolio which amounted to a sort of ‘manifesto’ about my work, setting out my aims and intentions.  Clearly the new piece had to meet the very ...
27 Jul 2016, Article
Rough Cut at Wilton's
I first met Peter Sheppard Skaerved in the 1980s, when I was RVW Composer in Residence at Charterhouse and he was a rising star of the contemporary music scene – although he has always been much more than a performer of new music: his creative energies know no such limits.  I’m sure that I would have promised to compose a piece for him at that time but neither of us could have imagined how long it would take to materialise! The Kreutzer String Quartet – of which Peter is leader – had had just ...
27 Jul 2016, Article
Angels and Demons in Copenhagen
It was one of those rare moments in life when, if I possessed a pause button I would have pressed it, to stay in that moment for as long as possible. I might still be there! The occasion was the performance of Apocalypse by the amazing Danish Radio Vocal Ensemble, directed by the inspirational Robert Hollingworth.  For the choir’s ‘Angels and Demons’ programme I had divided my 30-minute piece into four separate sections; Robert devised a dark, brooding programme around it, with music be Machaut, ...
02 Aug 2015, Article
Gentle July
July 2015 started with a tremendous premiere of 'Gentle', given by Ana Beard Fernandez (soprano) and Zoë Craven (marimba) at the Late Music lunchtime concert on Saturday 4 th .   Of all the performances of my music, few have captured the emotional intensity as did this one; it was a performance I will remember for a long time.   I had originally composed these three short songs for soprano voice and piano but when Ana asked me to provide songs for this concert I felt sure that they would ...
23 Jun 2015, Article
On Strike!
May 2015 On Strike! May proved to be a busy month, as usual.  ‘Strike’ (for flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello and piano) received its UK premiere at the National Centre for Early Music on Saturday 2 nd May as part of University of York’s Spring Festival of New Music.  It was a meticulous and detailed performance, given by the Dark Inventions Ensemble, directed by Chris Leedham.  It was good to catch up with Philip Cashian, whose powerful work (called Dark Inventions) was also on ...
03 Mar 2015, Article
Enter the Dragon...
Welcome to the new Dragon Music website, distributing the music of David Lancaster online. This is very much a work-in-progress and you will see many changes and developments in the coming weeks and months, but we decided to 'go public' from the start in order to benefit from your feedback and as an extra incentive to develop the site quickly. We are launching the new website with pieces which do not require separate parts for performers, such as vocal and choral music, and instrumental solos, ...