Marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Pegasus presented a programme of music and poetry written during the war and in response to it.
The concert included works by composers who experienced the war first-hand, such as Ivor Gurney, who was forever changed by what he witnessed, and Maurice Ravel, who wrote his Trois Chansons while waiting to go to the front to serve as a driver. The choir sang two movements from Sergei Rachmaninov’s transcendent All-Night Vigil, composed for fundraising concerts for Russian soldiers, and the rarely performed Short Requiem, written by Walford Davies in 1915 to commemorate the fallen.
Actor David Goudge read poems by writers including Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, and the programme ended with a choral arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen. This song, composed at the turn of the twentieth century, sums up an era that was to be irreparably ruptured by the outbreak of the war. Zeb Soanes – the voice of Radio 4’s News and Shipping Forecast – also supported the event, putting his familiar and authoritive voice to good use at the concert.
This concert was performed as a fundraiser to support the work of The British Association For Performing Arts Medicine – a unique not-for-profit organisation providing vital support to performing artists affected by physical and psychological health issues.
Director: Matthew Altham