“O for a Muse of fire…” Shakespeare’s Henry V crammed the Battle of Agincourt into a tiny wooden theatre. Four centuries later, William Walton matched that vision with a score that redefined British cinema. Because when a British composer’s imagination ignites, there’s no limit to the places they can travel – whether they’re Frederick Delius, relocating Shakespeare’s romance to an Alpine idyll, or John Foulds, fusing Indian philosophy and Jazz Age verve in his breathtaking Dynamic Triptych. Huge in scale and volcanic in its energy, it’s arguably Britain’s greatest 20th century piano concerto, and it has no more committed champions than Richard Farnes and Ashley Wass.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room
Film historian and BBC Radio 3 presenter Matthew Sweet discusses Shakespearian film music.
There will be no coda after this concert.