Alexander Baker baritone
Alexandra Reid violin
Jamie Campbell violin
Simon Tandree viola
Cara Berridge cello
James Turnbull oboe
Libby Burgess piano
Butterworth A Shropshire Lad
Gurney By a bierside, In Flanders, Sleep
Elgar Sonata in E minor for Violin and Piano Op 82
Britten Temporal Variations
Shostakovich String Quartet No 8 in C minor Op 110
As part of the ongoing centenary commemoration of the First World War, this programme explores music written in the shadow of war. AE Housman’s poems in A Shropshire Lad sprang from his experiences in the Second Boer War, and foresaw so much of the First World War’s suffering; George Butterworth was subsequently killed in the 1916 Battle of the Somme and so the cycle remains indelibly linked for audiences to this conflict. This evocative sound-world is also explored in the poignant songs of Ivor Gurney – who never mentally recovered from his time in the trenches – and in the passionate violin sonata by Elgar, written in 1918.
The ‘war to end all wars’ did not live up to its name, and thus in the 1930s we find Britten writing as the clouds gathered again; his 1936 Temporal Variations for oboe reflect with vivid pictures and haunting chorales the regimes taking over Europe at the time. Shostakovich’s brutal and powerful eighth string quartet was written in 1960 whilst Shostakovich was visiting the former Communist State of East Germany, and was dedicated by composer to ‘the victims of fascism and war’.
The performances will be accompanied by projected images inspired by the music.
Join us after the concert for Compline – a time of contemplation – in the Minster.