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BBC Symphony Orchestra/Schuldt

Jennifer Pike holding her violin

Life, death and transcendence: Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending finds a 21st-century counterpart in a new work from Deborah Pritchard.

In the shadow of the First World War, Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending sounded like a vision of peace. Deborah Pritchard’s Calandra evokes the same spirit in a 21st century context; it’s specially written for the radiant tone and poetic insight of soloist Jennifer Pike.

Calandra, says Pritchard, represents a different kind of lark – 'an Eastern European lark, symbolic of freedom, ascending without borders'. Like Vaughan Williams, Pritchard is responding to her time; but music can deal with turbulence as well as serenity and guest conductor Clemens Schuldt frames these two idylls with Britten’s volcanic Sinfonia da Requiem – a protest against the inhumanity of World War Two – and Strauss’s musical fantasy of triumph rising from the darkest tragedy. Strong emotions; ravishing sounds. 

This performance will end at approximately 9.10pm, including a 20-minute interval

Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra

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