Charles Hamilton Sorley, one of the great British war poets, ascended to the rank of captain in August 1915 aged just 20, having postponed his education to volunteer for service in the British Army. Two months later, he was shot and killed at the Battle of Loos.
James MacMillan, one of Britain’s leading composers, chose five of Sorley’s poems for the text to All the Hills and Vales Along, a major new oratorio written to commemorate the Armistice. MacMillan composed this powerful work for internationally acclaimed British tenor Ian Bostridge, who performed it this autumn in two distinct arrangements. Eamonn Dougan conducted the world premiere of the chamber version at MacMillan’s Cumnock Tryst festival, before Gianandrea Noseda directed the world premiere of the orchestral version at London’s Barbican Centre.
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and the London Symphony Orchestra