Song Shards: From Darkness to Light

St George's, Hanover Square
4:00 pm, Sunday, 17 September, 2017


Pegasus is proud to present the London premiere of Colin Riley’s Roads Shining Like River Up Hill After Rain, a setting for choir and cello of fragments of poetry by Edward Thomas, who died 100 years ago in the trenches of the first world war. The title of this work is taken from one of Thomas’s “ghost shards” – fragments of poetry – found on the poet when he was killed:

Where any turn may lead to Heaven/Or any corner may hide Hell/Roads shining like river up hill after rain

The composer has worked with writer Robert Macfarlane to fashion the text of the piece from this and other fragments of Thomas’s poetry.

Our concert meditates on these themes of heaven and hell, light and darkness, life and death, through beautiful music by John Tavener (Song for Athene), Henryk Górecki (Wislo moja, Wislo szara), Francis Poulenc (Bois meurtri) and Jan Sandström (Es ist ein Ros entsprungen).

We are joined by cellist Gabriella Swallow for Colin Riley’s work. She will also accompany the choir in Serenity by Ola Gjeilo and an excerpt from Verdi’s Requiem. The concert concludes with Lux aeterna, an uplifting vision of eternal light from the requiem mass, set to the famous music of “Nimrod” from Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Our performance takes place in the majestic and light-filled setting of St George’s, Hanover Square. St George’s is a historic church containing many artistic treasures and a special musical connection – one of its most famous worshipers was George Frederick Handel.

Information about our concert will be updated on this site closer to the time.

Read more about Roads Shining Like River Up Hill After Rain in Colin’s blog here.

Venue details

St George's Church, St George Street, London W1
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus, Bond Street, Piccadilly Circus