On 10th April the BBC Symphony Orchestra is presenting the world premiere of The Earthly Paradise, at the Barbican. It is a setting of prose, poetry and sayings by William Morris composed by Ian McQueen, with Sir Andrew Davis, conducting.
The search for the land where "none grow old" guides the twists and turns of William Morris's The Earthly Paradise. Ian McQueen's new work for chorus and large orchestra evokes the extraordinary world of the poet, surges with erotic charge and conjures up Morris's magical vision of Iceland's landscape and sagas.
While researching Morris's life for Possessed I read some of his Earthly Paradise. He was writing it while Jane and Rossetti were having their affair and poured his fears and longings into it.
An earlier draft of this post said that the performance had taken place on 10th March, which was information I received from the William Morris Society Website, so I will let them know that they have the date wrong. The concert also includes Elgar's 'In the South' and Jennifer Pike will be will be applying her special artistry to Mendelssohn's 'violin concerto in e minor'. I am very pleased that the concert hasn't passed after all and will definitely be going!