The Lark Ascending Centenary Concert



Jennifer Pike violin soloist
Roger Huckle and Simon Kodurand – violin soloists in Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins
Helen Reid piano
David Ogden conductor
Marcus Farnsworth baritone
The Bristol Ensemble
Exultate Singers

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending (arranged by the composer for violin and piano)
J S Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D minor BWV 1043
C Hubert H Parry Choral Song ‘Jerusalem’

A special online concert to celebrate 100 years since the first performance of one of the best-loved classical works of all time – Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.

In the 100 years since its premiere, The Lark Ascending has been performed in every single one of the globe’s greatest concert halls, by the world’s finest orchestras and violinists. Now, The Lark returns home: on the centenary of its first performance, Bristol Beacon and Bristol Ensemble present a live broadcast from the very place it was first performed, Shirehampton Public Hall in Bristol.

In a recreation of the original occasion it will be performed just as it was on 15 December 1920, arranged for solo violin and piano, and realised by renowned violinist Jennifer PikeBristol Ensemble and an octet from Exultate Singers complete the evening with excerpts from the original programme.

Composed on the brink of World War I and premiered in its aftermath, The Lark Ascending was born into a world that would never be the same again. Based on the poem of the same name by George Meredith, it tells of a bird, soaring high above the English countryside, singing an impossibly beautiful song, unaffected by the turbulent earth below. Despite the context of its writing, this moving work speaks to a return to calm and hope for a better future – a sentiment as vital now as it was at the time it was written.

This will be an intimate performance beamed from this unique setting into the comfort of your own home. You are invited to join us to mark this moment in music history, but more than that, we implore you to juststop, listen, and be transportedby the timeless song of The Lark Ascending.