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The Poppy & The Rose

Saturday 15 November, 7.30pm in Wakefield Cathedral

The Poppy and the Rose, poignant symbols at this time of year and important in the significant upcoming concert by the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir in Wakefield Cathedral on Saturday Evening 15th November. The second half of the concert is a commemoration of the centenary of the start of WW1, a conflict that basically ended one world and began the world that has developed to that we live in today.

Sir Edward Elgar's 'The Spirit of England' sets Laurence Binyon's 3 War poems in a powerful and sometimes heart searching setting. It's title might suggest an elevation of England's involvement over the sacrifice of other nations, but in fact it is far from that as anyone reading the poems and experiencing the work will readily agree. The title in fact comes from a single phrase within the first movement. It begins with the pomp and swagger of the Edwardian age, so typical of some of Elgar's well know writing, but as the reality of war is revealed through the poems, the work introduces reflective and questioning themes with minor keys prevalent. The final movement includes the famous words of remembrance adopted by The Royal British Legion which begin 'They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old.....' Many forget that Binyon was the author of these now revered words.

To further enhance the mood, between movements other literature from WW1 will be presented.

Nimrod from Elgar's Enigma Variations will start the second half commemoration, one of his most famous melodies and again synonymous with our National Acts of Remembrance which we shall witness over the preceding weekend.

Alongside the music mentioned and making use of the Cathedral's new facilities, visual effects and images with enhance the audience's appreciation of the music and the period.

The YPC is not only renowned for the quality of its performances but also for innovation within them. 100 years ago, almost to the month, the first recruiting campaign for men began, what was it like to be in this Country and this County at that time ? If you come along on 15 November you will find out, through the dramatic events that will be realistically depicted by our actors and also by absorbing yourself in the excellent articles in the programme brochure prepared by local historian Kate Taylor.

The first half of the evening will be somewhat in contrast, with spectacular music from the 20 th century. The central work is 'Gloria' by French composer Francis Poulenc. Written in the 1960's in 6 short movements it is full of rhythm, pace and melody and will be a fine test of choir, the Amici Ensemble and our soprano soloist for the evening, Samantha Hay. The evening will start with Aaron Copland's majestic 'Fanfare for the Common Man' featuring the full brass and percussion sections of Amici. This will be followed by a huge favourite, Hubert Party's exuberant Coronation anthem 'I was Glad'. Although written in 1902 for the Coronation of King Edward VII it has featured at numerous royal events ever since, the las test being the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

The latter 2 works were special favourites of our former chairman, the late Richard Haigh, to whom the entire concert is dedicated in tribute to his towering contribution to the YPC and lifelong commitment to music in this city.

This will once again be a tremendous evening with the YPC in the Cathedral, don't miss out.

Tickets available from this website, or tel 01924 364862.

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