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BBC NOW - Mark Bowden, Holst

Martyn Brabbins conducts the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales. With a performance of Holst's The Planets and the world premiere of Mark Bowden's A Violence of Gifts.

Live from St. David's Hall, Cardiff

Presented by Nicola Heywood Thomas

The BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, perform the world premiere of A Violence of Gifts. Resident Composer Mark Bowden takes his inspiration from the latest scientific findings on the origin of the universe. Holst's powerful suite The Planets puts the Earth in the context of the other bodies in the solar system.

Mark Bowden: A Violence of Gifts

8.15pm Interval music by Sir William Herschel, 18th-century astronomer and composer, who discovered the planet Uranus, and Sir Patrick Moore.

Holst: The Planets

Elizabeth Atherton (soprano)
Roderick Williams (baritone)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
BBC National Chorus of Wales
Martyn Brabbins (conductor)

A Violence of Gifts was composed by Mark Bowden as a secular alternative to Haydn's oratorio The Creation. It's a first-time collaboration between the composer and Welsh poet Owen Sheers. Bowden and Sheers take inspiration from the latest scientific findings about the origins of the universe. While visiting the Large Hadron Collider at CERN on the Franco-Swiss border, they met particle physicists to discuss their latest research into the early universe, which provided the springboard for the piece. It's a journey between incredible extremes of scale; fusing the unimaginable vastness of the observable universe with the strange quantum world of quarks and gluons. Owen's beautiful words invite us to imagine what might have happened in the very first moments of the creation of the universe, whilst contemplating the conditions of the early Earth that would lead to the emergence of life. Holst's powerful suite The Planets puts the Earth into context with its neighbours in the solar system.

2 hours, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Mark Bowden

    A Violence of Gifts

  • Gustav Holst

    The Planets


New Music on Radio 3

New Music on Radio 3

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