Our English Heart: cantata for soprano solo, male chorus and orchestra.

Wallen, Errollyn (2005) Our English Heart: cantata for soprano solo, male chorus and orchestra. [Performance]

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The Cantata was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and George and Janette Wilkins, and first performed at Portsmouth Cathedral by the BBC Concert Orchestra, the male voices of the BBC Singers, and Catherine Bott (soprano). It was conducted by Stephen Cleobury, and marked the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar Day and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. The research imperative was to identify the compositional means to develop a strongly performative score, that interrogated the possibilities of the memorial itself, enabled listeners to commemorate but also to move beyond the testimonial or remembrance: as composer and writer, I sought to trigger, in both performers and listeners, engagement with a discourse on the horror of conflict more generally. Attemtping to achive this,'Our English Heart' establishes themes of the sea in wartime, the terror of the sea and personal experience of loss, death, separation, bravery and sacrifice: as such its dramatic and affective potential are magnified. Using the historical events of Trafalgar as a catalyst and metaphor for the contemplation of international conflict, I wanted to enable contemporary listeners to engage affectively as well as rationally both with a different epoch, and with current conflict. In writing both text and score together, and incorporating 'found' writing, I developed a single-span, one movement work for large and varied forces.

Item Type:Performance
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
ID Code:749
Deposited On:16 Dec 2008 12:23
Last Modified:13 May 2014 15:17

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