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A special evening of spoken word and music in the beautiful setting of Southwark Cathedral, to celebrate the work of two of the great artists of the 20th century: Benjamin Britten and T S Eliot.
The event represents a unique collaboration between City of London Sinfonia and Faber & Faber to mark the 90th anniversary of the publisher, with whom both Britten and Eliot were profoundly linked.
T S Eliot moved to England in 1914, publishing his first book of poems three years later, then joining the nascent Faber and Gwyer as a director in 1925. Four Quartets, first published in the UK by Faber in 1944, is widely considered to be his crowning achievement. Faber became an established publisher of books about music in the early 1960s, under the editorship of the writer and musicologist Donald Mitchell. After Britten wrote in a letter to Mitchell, ‘I occasionally dream of Faber & Faber – music publishers!’, Mitchell approached the Chairman, Richard de la Mare, who consulted Eliot and responded, ‘I have no idea how this can be done, but clearly we have to do it.’ Faber Music came into being in 1965, with Britten as its first composer.
The programme interweaves some of Eliot’s finest verses and Britten’s most remarkable music, with readings including Ash Wednesday and Little Gidding, and Britten's Serenade for tenor, horn and strings and Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge.
BRITTEN Canticle V (The Death of Saint Narcissus)
ELIOT Ash Wednesday
BRITTEN Serenade for tenor, horn and strings
ELIOT Little Gidding from Four Quartets
BRITTEN Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge
City of London Sinfonia
Alexandra Wood Director/Violin
Stephen Stirling French Horn
Joshua Ellicott Tenor
Reader to be announced
City of London Sinfonia inspires a seriously informal concert experience, inviting audience members to create their own musical journeys around the Cathedral and to relax on cushions close to the action. When booking, you can choose how you wish to experience the music: either with a ‘roaming’ ticket that encourages you to wander and explore the acoustics, or a ‘guaranteed seating’ ticket which ensures that you have a seat in the central Nave with a good view of the performance.