Roxanna Panufnik's new choral work 'Since We Parted' will receive its World Premiere on 31 January 2015 at Town Hall Birmingham by Ex Cathedra.
The work, for double chorus, trumpets, harp, piano and cello is composed in response to a commission from Ex Cathedra to commemorate the First World War.
Panufnik comments; When Jeffrey Skidmore of Ex Cathedra approached me to write this piece, he specified that it should be remembering the first World War and, if at all possible, the words should be by or about a woman.
A friend steered me towards Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth and, spookily, the book fell open on page 163 where appeared Kathleen Coates’ s poem “A Year and a Day”. This was written between 1910 and 1913 but is, I think, prophetic of the impending war in its depiction of a woman and man in love, reluctantly separated and missing each other.
The whole piece is made up of my typical major-minor harmonic language which sets a bittersweet atmosphere and the trumpets remind us, from time to time, of the backdrop of war.