On Radio 3 Now

In Tune

16:30 - 17:30

Sean Rafferty presents a selection of music and guests from the arts world.

Next On Air

17:30 Opera on 3

View full schedule

Gavin Bryars and Runi Brattaberg in the Faroes. Photo: Alan Brockie.
A new music commission inspired by Viking legend - premiere performance broadcast 20 November 2004 Radio 3
Leading English experimental composer Gavin Bryars researched the Viking heritage of Eastern England for a new commission, ' From Egil's Saga '.

Bryars, born 1943, was commissioned by Radio 3 and the Eastern Orchestral Board to create this new work, which was premiered on Thursday 11th November 2004 by the London Sinfonietta at the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

This concert was recorded by Radio 3 and broadcast  on Radio 3's Hear and Now on Sat 20th November 2004..


From Egil's Saga on Radio 3
Between the Ears
Sat 20 Nov 2004 22:40
To complement this commission Gavin Bryars devised a binaural fantasy exploring the Icelandic saga of Egil: Viking warrior, poet, philosopher, drinker. Recorded on location in the sea caves of the Faroe Islands and featuring the voice of Faroese bass Runi Brattaberg.
Hear and Now
Sat 20 Nov 2004 23:00
Broadcast of world premiere of From Egil's Saga recorded on 11 November 2004 at Cambridge Corn Exchange.
More info
Robert Worby introduces the London Sinfonietta, joined by Faroese bass Runi Brattaberg, Chris Ekers and Sound Intermedia and conducted by Olari Elts, in a concert taken from the orchestra's Eastern Orchestral Board Tour with a programme devised by Gavin Bryars.
In addition to his classic piece The Sinking of the Titanic, Arvo Part's If Bach had been a Beekeeper and Erkki-Sven Tuur's Passion and Illusion, the climax of the concert is the world premiere of a new work by Bryars: From Egil's Saga - a BBC commission - which explores the relationship between the Nordic Sagas and the connected history of the East of England.


Explore Bryars's creative process 
Gavin Bryars talks online
with Robert Worby about his approach to composing and his inspiration for 'From Egil's Saga'.
The composer answers your questions
Listen to samples of work in progress.


Resources for teachers
Download From Egil's Saga MIDI files and scores.
Use workshop guides.
Find out about educational outreach work based on From Egil's Saga


BBC Radio 3 commission

with the Eastern Orchestral Board






Excerpts from earlier works by Gavin Bryars
1971, performed by Derek Bailey, Fred Frith, Gavin Bryars and Brian Eno, from LP Machine Music (Obscure EGED 28B)
Excerpt from 'The Squirrel and the Ricketty Racketty Bridge'

1988, performed by The Hilliard Ensemble, counter-tenor David James (ECM 1533)
Excerpt from 'Glorious Hill'

- Hymn II, 1994 (Point 446 061-2)
Excerpt from 'Sinking of the Titanic'

Related Links
on radio 3
on bbc.co.uk
on the web
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.