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Prom 20 (part 1): Walton, Gurney and Sally Beamish

Episode 1 of 2

Live from the Royal Albert Hall in London, the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins. Gurney: War Elegy. Sally Beamish: The Singing (James Crabb: accordion).

Live from the Royal Albert Hall, London

Presented by Sara Mohr-Pietsch

The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins live at the BBC Proms. Music by Ivor Gurney commemorating 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, plus Sally Beamish & Walton.

Gurney: War Elegy
Sally Beamish: The Singing

8.20pm Interval (see separate billing)

Walton: Symphony No. 1 in B flat minor

James Crabb (accordion)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins (conductor)

The BBC Symphony Orchestra explores responses to conflict across the 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. 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 in the 1930s, perhaps, of horrors past, and a foreshadow of horrors yet to come.

Sally Beamish's accordion concerto 'The Singing' will replace the earlier billed Violin Concerto, which has been cancelled due to performer illness. Originally premiered in 2006 by tonight's soloist, James Crabb, the piece commemorates the Highland Clearances. Meditating on the displacement of Scottish Highland communities in the 19th century to far shoreside allotments, and the emigration of yet others to the New World, Beamish uses Gaelic psalm and working songs, bagpipe pibrochs and birdsong to give voice to the story.

This Prom will be repeated on Tuesday 5th August at 2pm.

2 hours, 15 minutes

Last on

Fri 1 Aug 2014 19:30

Music Played

  • Ivor Gurney

    War Elegy

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Martyn Brabbins.
  • Sally Beamish

    The Singing

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Martyn Brabbins.


Role Contributor
Performer BBC Symphony Orchestra


World War One on TV and Radio

World War One on TV and Radio

Marking the centenary of World War One across the BBC

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The home of classical music and the Proms on the BBC

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