Heroic Elegy set to feature at Royal Hall

Ernest Bristow Farrar's composition will be heard on Thursday, November 15.
Ernest Bristow Farrar's composition will be heard on Thursday, November 15.

A World War I soldier’s farewell composition will be heard in Harrogate next month thanks to the support of the Bodleian Library

Organisers of a centenary concert marking the end of the Great War have borrowed the score of an important wartime composition which premiered in Harrogate in 1918.

The Bodleian Library has loaned the score of Ernest Bristow Farrar’s Heroic Elegy (For Soldiers) to the Trustees of the Royal Hall Restoration Trust.

It will be performed by the Amici Ensemble in the Royal Hall on Thursday, November 15, conducted by Andrew Padmore music director of the Harrogate Choral Society who will also feature in this concert along with the Chapel Choir of Exeter College, Oxford.

Before writing Heroic Elegy in 1918 while living in Harrogate with his family in Hollins Road, Farrar had served three years in the Grenadier Guards.

Farrar was summoned to France on 6 September 1918 and was killed by machine gun-fire at the Battle of Epehy Ronssoy on the 18th, after just two days at the Front.He was 33.

Heroic Elegy will form part of the I WAS GLAD concert to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of another great British Composer who shall be forever linked to Harrogate.

Sir Hubert Parry formally opened Harrogate’s Royal Hall on 27 May 1903 and conducted the inaugural concert.

In another poignant twist, Parry’s final elegiac Songs of Farewell was completed shortly before his death in 1918, a month before the Armistice.

On 15 November, the Royal Hall audience will be able to enjoy his much loved compositions including Jerusalem, Ode to Music and Blest Pair of Sirens.

The concert will be compered by Edward Fox OBE, President of the Royal Hall Restoration Trust. Tickets (£20/25) are available from the Harrogate Theatre Box Office on 01423 502116 or www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk.

All funds raised will go towards a project to floodlight Harrogate’s War Memorial and the Royal Hall’s exterior facade.