BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales will live stream the world premiere of Mass Via Victrix (1914-1918) by Charles Villiers Stanford on Saturday 27 October from BBC Hoddinott Hall conducted by Adrian Partington.
As part of nationwide events marking the centenary of the end of World War One, BBC NOW presents Music for the Fallen, with the first complete performance of Mass Via Victrix (1914-1918) which was written 99 years ago. The parts have been brought together by leading Stanford expert Jeremy Dibble. Scored for orchestra, chorus and four soloists, the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales are joined by soprano Kiandra Howarth, contralto Jess Dandy, tenor Ruairi Bowen and bass Gareth Brynmor John.
Jeremy Dibble said: ‘Charles Villiers Stanford completed his Mass 'Via Victrix 1914-1918' in December 1919 in memory of all those who died during the First World War. Apart from one movement, the 'Gloria' (which was performed in Cambridge in 1920), the work has never been performed as an entirety before. It encapsulates both a sense of relief and celebration for the allied victory but also commemorates, with a deep sense of mourning and loss for the many who died. The Mass contains some of Stanford's most powerful music.
Michael Garvey, Director, BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales commented: ‘Following the live stream of our 90th birthday concert earlier this year, BBC NOW will be throwing open the doors of our home in BBC Hoddinott Hall to a new online audience. We’re excited to be harnessing digital technology to make orchestral music available to more and more people, allowing those who can’t get here to experience and enjoy our work.’
Alongside live streaming, Virtual Reality (VR) will form part of BBC NOW’s digital offering this season. On Armistice Day, Nothing to be Written a 7 minute VR experience which offers a contemporary response to the First War World will be available to audiences ahead of BBC NOW’s performance of Britten’s War Requiem. The piece received its world premiere at the BBC Proms this summer, and was named ‘Best British VR’ at the recent Raindance Film Festival 2018. Featuring music by Anna Meredith, the piece takes the ‘field postcard’ (one of the primary modes of communication used during the war) as its inspiration, and transports audiences to two worlds - the hallways across the country with families and friends waiting quietly for news, and the unrestrained violence of the trenches. Nothing to be Written is a BBC virtual reality experience by 59 Productions and Anna Meredith, produced by BBC VR Hub, and presented by BBC Proms and 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions.
BBC NOW are also creating a 360˚ video to accompany the world premiere of Symphony No. 3 ‘Illumination’ by Paul Mealor inspired by extracts from Dante’s Paradiso. Creating a virtual visual landscape to compliment the music, the video will feature footage of the premiere performance (taking place in BBC Hoddinott Hall on 30 November) and some insights from the composer. It will be created for VR headsets with immersive 3D sound.
Mass Via Victrix (1914-1918) will be live-streamed via bbc.co.uk/BBCNOW. This will be at circa 8.30pm on Saturday 27 October.
The full concert, which also feature F.S Kelly’s Elegy for strings, in memoriam Rupert Brooke: written while recuperating from the Battle of Gallipoli, will be broadcast on Radio 3 in Concert on 5 November at 7.30pm.