David Lancaster's setting of Walter de la Mere text receives acclamation at York Late Music

On 3rd February 2024, a York Late Music recital took place at York Unitarian Chapel featuring texts from Walter de la Mere's Peacock Pie, a 1913 book of rhymes for children. Performed by baritone Robert Rice and pianist William Van, the programme consisted of songs by Herbert Howells and Cecil Armstrong Gibbs, alongside a series of nine new works by assorted composers including David Lancaster.

Paul Conway writes that: "In his poem Then, de la Mere honours night watchmen of centuries past, patrolling the streets and ensuring all was well. Gibbs brought a robust and hearty assurance to his musical realisation of the text. David Lancaster’s approach to the same words in his piece, entitled With Lantern Bright, offered sharply defined contrast, alternating rhythmic, syncopated passages with more expressive material. Thus, the music neatly mirrored the verse’s distinction between the watchmen facing all weathers and children ‘tucked snug abed’ listening to their cries. In this detailed first performance, the dichotomy between the score’s two main elements was allowed to register clearly, while the overarching narrative unfolded smoothly".