Benjamin Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem
William Walton: Viola Concerto
Sergey Prokofiev: Selection from War and Peace
In June 1941 when 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.
Royal Festival Hall at 6.15pm - Pre-concert event. 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.Performers
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski conductor
Lawrence Power viola