The Lark Ascending marks 100th anniversary with recital

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Violinist Jennifer Pike MBEImage source, PA Media
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Violinist Jennifer Pike will perform the beloved piece of music at Shirehampton Hall

A performance of the classical music piece voted the nation's favourite is to take place in the same hall where it premiered 100 years ago.

Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending will be performed at Shirehampton Public Hall on Tuesday.

The concert, performed by the Bristol Ensemble, will be a short version of the 1920 programme and streamed online.

Artistic director, Roger Huckle, said it was "an uplifting story to tell in these difficult times".

The Lark Ascending was voted the nation's favourite piece in 2020 by Classic FM's Hall of Fame poll and by 25,000 listeners in BBC Radio Four's Desert Island Discs in 2011.

The event has been organised by the Bristol Beacon and Shirehampton Hall.

Artistic director at Bristol Beacon, Todd Wills, said being able to organise the performance was a "special achievement" despite the challenges of the pandemic.

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Soloist Jennifer Pike was made an MBE in the Queen's 2020 Birthday Honours for services to classical music

The Lark Ascending, which was composed at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, inspired by the poem of the same name by George Meredith, tells the story of a skylark singing a beautiful song.

Vaughan Williams adapted the final draft of the piece in collaboration with soloist Marie Hall while staying at Kings Weston House in Bristol.

He dedicated the piece to her and she gave the premiere at nearby Shirehampton Public Hall on 15 December 1920.

Soloist Jennifer Pike MBE, said she felt a "deep connection" to the piece, having spent much of her life performing it.

"I am honoured to bring it to this historic stage 100 years on from its premiere, and at a time when music is needed more than ever," added Ms Pike.

Vaughan Williams' Fantasia On Christmas Carols, Bach's Concerto For Two Violins and Hubert Parry's Jerusalem will be performed as part of the concert, which will be streamed online for free from 19:30 GMT.

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