Britten Sinfonia – The Last Letter – Saturday 10th November Safron Walden

Britten Sinfonia, one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras with a residency in Saffron Walden are staging a fantastic concert, “The Last Letter” in Saffron Walden Hall, on Saturday 10 November.

This concert is being staged to commemorate the end of the Great War and is the premiere of a new arrangement of Nico Muhly’s poignant The Last Letter as part of a compelling and dramatic evening of music and words. This is a poignant work of words and music that come together in an evening to mark the centenary of the First World War Armistice, with the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s The Last Letter in a new arrangement for chamber orchestra and baritone (Jonathan McGovern) at its heart.  Muhly’s settings of letters sent between soldiers on both sides of the conflict and their loved ones features alongside music by Ivor Gurney, Ravel, Barber and two young composers killed during the First World War, Frederick Septimus Kelly and German composer Rudi Stephan.  Music is interspersed with words from the era, poetry and deeply personal reflections on war, family and love from those who fought, and those who were left behind read by actors including Sophie Hunter.  The programme includes writings by those who died during World War 1, including poetry by writers including Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen, the memories of family life ripped asunder by Edward Thomas’s wife Helen, Vera Brittain’s diary reflections on the growing cost of war, the poetry of German poet Leo Sternberg and Helen Mackay Brown, one of a largely overlooked group of women poets of the First World War.

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