GB at the Barbican


December 19, 2023


Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS

A substantial concert to include a wide range of Gavin Bryars’ works. There are a number of special items here:

The Duets from Doctor Ox’s Experiment have only been performed once, in October 1998, shortly after the opera’s premiere in June 1998. Here they have been revised for a slightly larger ensemble and with the addition of extra material. David James, who sang in that performance, and in the opera, sings in this concert too. I worked with David for many years from my first work with the Hilliard Ensemble, Glorious Hill, in 1988 until their final concerts. The date of this concert, December 19th 2023, is exactly 50 years since the Hilliard’s first – December 19, 1973!!

Mahan Esfahani, for whom I have written a harpsichord concerto and am currently composing a harpsichord quintet, performs After Handel’s Vesper, which he has recorded, and joins the GB Ensemble as an honorary guest.

My daughter Alexandra Tchernakova performs the ensemble version of Ramble on Cortona.

There is a large ensemble version of Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, which includes chorus, organ, harpsichord and the concert ends with Morgan Goff playing Epilogue from Wonderlawn, which he has done exquisitely for many years.

Sadly, Martin Allen, who has been with my ensemble since the first GB Ensemble performance in 1986, and who was to play in this concert, passed away today (November 30 2023). A very dear friend and a beautiful person, to whose memory I dedicate this concert.

I attach a couple of photographs of Martin from the 2012 Titanic tour.


Ramble on Cortona

Alexandra Tchernakova, solo piano; Morgan Goff, viola; James Woodrow, electric guitar; Audrey Riley, cello

Duets from Doctor Ox’s Experiment (UK Premiere)

Sarah Gabriel, soprano; David James, counter tenor; conductor David Wordsworth

Large GB Ensemble: Roger Heaton, clarinet/bass clarinet; James Woodrow, electric guitar; Gerald Kirby, Glyn Matthews, percussion; Alexandra Tchernakova, piano; Yuri Bryars, keyboard; Morgan Goff, Garth Knox, Katie Wilkinson, violas; Nick Barr, Audrey Riley, cellos; Gavin Bryars, double bass


After Handel’s Vesper

Mahan Esfahani, solo harpsichord

Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Large GB Ensemble, (including Mahan Esfahani; and choir, dir David Wordsworth)

Epilogue from Wonderlawn

Morgan Goff, solo viola; GB Ensemble

Jesus' Blood Enniskillen 2014

Gavin Bryars