Britten Sinfonia da Requiem Walton Viola Concerto Prokofiev War and Peace (excerpts)
Vladimir Jurowski conductor Lawrence Power viola London Philharmonic Orchestra
In June 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Composers were expected to help with morale, and Prokofiev’s response was a setting of Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace that would prove his most probing exploration of rejuvenation through love. The excerpts taken from the opera maintain the grandeur and optimism of Prokofiev’s magnum opus, in stark contrast to Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem. This profound and moving ‘plea for peace’, written a year before Prokofiev’s score, contains some of the most affecting and effective orchestral writing, induced by the terror of war as Walton’s Viola Concerto was by the melancholy beauty of his chosen instrument.
Video introduction to the War&Peace collaboration by Vladimir Jurowski
Free pre-concert discussion | 6.15pm–6.45pm | Royal Festival Hall Tolstoy biographer Dr Rosamund Bartlett explores musical adaptations of Tolstoy’s works including the challenges faced by Prokofiev in his epic opera War and Peace.
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