In the Beginning

Programme Note

In the Beginning was originally written in 1966 whilst I was studying at the Royal Academy of Music. It was scored for women’s voices and piano. My intention was to write a dramatic work, compact in form, and yet not too technically demanding. I knew that the words from the Book of Genesis alone would not be sufficient for my expressive needs and so I used extracts from a poem specially written by Susan Smith (later Susan Gregson). These words are interspersed and juxtaposed with the first four verses from Genesis Chapter 1 and also with the jubilant Latin exhortation Gloria in excelsis Deo.

In 1981 I revised and enlarged the work extensively specially for the Market Harborough Singers, who gave the first performance under Barry Clark at the Purcell Room, London, on 18 April 1982. The revised (and published) version is for mixed choir and piano.

The work is dedicated to the memory of my mother.

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Work Details

  • Date of Composition: 1966
  • Revised: 1981
  • Publisher: Novello
  • Genre:
  • Duration: 10'
  • Instrumentation: choir SATB and piano
  • Text Author: text from 'Genesis', poem by Susan Smith

First Performance

  • Date: 18 April 1982
  • Venue: Purcell Room, London, UK
  • Performers:
    Market Harborough Singers Barry Clark (conductor)


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