Prom 20 Walton, Gurney & Sally Beamish

The Royal Albert Hall
Kensington Gore, Inner London, Greater London SW7 2AP
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Commemorating 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, the BBC Symphony Orchestra explores English responses to conflict across three generations. Gassed while fighting in the trenches in 1917, Gurney never fully recovered. His War Elegy (1920) is a characteristically personal lament - heavy with bittersweet sadness and regret. Sally Beamish's 1994 Violin Concerto, written for tonight's soloist, Anthony Marwood, takes inspiration from Erich Maria Remarque's novel All Quiet on the Western Front. While not explicitly programmatic, the slow movement of Walton's First Symphony is among the 20th century's most poignant orchestral cries of grief - an echo, perhaps, of horrors past, and a foreshadow of horrors yet to come. Finish time approx. 21:40