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Knussen, Elgar, Payne, Finzi & Britten

 16 September 2017 at 13.55 

Knussen, Elgar, Payne, Finzi & Britten

BBC Philharmonic Studio
MediaCityUK, Broadway, Salford, M50 2HQ
United Kingdom

BBC Philharmonic

Andrew Gourlay raises his baton to open today’s programme with Knussen's delightful
The Way to Castle Yonder.
Taken from fantasy opera, Higglety Pigglety Pop – a collaboration between Knussen and American author Maurice Sendak – this piece brings vividly coloured illustrations from page to note. Of his opera, Knusson said ‘Higglety is an evocation of the music I wanted to write [as a child] but didn’t know how’.
Continuing the thread of youth, the orchestra advance with Nursey Suite, a piece which Elgar, in his later years, ‘worked up’ from his youthful and unpublished compositions.
The afternoon continues with Payne’s Half-heard in the Stillness, a ten-minute orchestral tone-poem. Payne describes himself as ‘a passionate Elgarian’ and uses Elgar’s Memorial Chimes - written for the Loughborough Carillon - as his starting point.
The gestation of today’s penultimate piece, Finzi’s Farewell to Arms, took place over many years and reflects his enthusiasm for seventeenth-century poets – brought to life today by Tenor, Robin Tritschler.
Closing the programme is Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, a powerful orchestral work inspired by the texts from the Requiem Mass and dedicated to the memory of Britten’s parents. With this dedication in mind, the final movement, ‘Requiem aeternam’ – meaning ‘eternal rest grant to them’ is particularly poignant.
This concert is a live broadcast for BBC Radio 3.

Oliver Knussen : The Way to Castle Yonder
Edward Elgar : Nursery Suite
Anthony Payne : Half-heard in the stillness
Gerald Finzi : Farewell to Arms

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