Ravel, Adams, Vaughan Williams and Harris

BBC Symphony Orchestra/Madaras

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Man’s humanity to man amid the horrors of war links this imaginative programme that includes a world premiere by New Zealand composer Ross Harris.

The role of those who care for the injured provides the theme: Ralph Vaughan Williams, like Maurice Ravel, was too old to serve in the First World War but he volunteered as a stretcher bearer while the Frenchman drove munitions lorries behind the lines, putting himself in extreme danger. His Le Tombeau de Couperin remembers friends killed in the First World War. John Adams’s The Wound Dresser, for baritone and orchestra, sets words by Walt Whitman who tended the wounded in battle, while Ross Harris’s celebrates the work of fellow New Zealander, the plastic surgeon Harold Gillies who pioneered facial reconstruction and contributed to the rehabilitation of thousands of servicemen. Face, receiving its UK premiere is a work for film, soloists, chorus and orchestra.

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