Concertino Pastorale in the 1940s

While it is well recorded that the first performance of Ireland’s Concertino Pastorale took place in Canterbury Cathedral, perhaps less known is that the Boyd Neel Orchestra, who gave the first performance, subsequently included the piece in several of their concerts in the 1940s. Ireland’s work was one of a number of English pieces featured prominently during the Second World War, alongside Howells’s Elegy, Finzi’s Dies Natalis and the orchestra’s staple Britten, Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Two significant outings took place on 23 March 1944 and 4 Oct 1945. The first of these was a CEMA concert in St Albans, the second part of a programme in Suffolk, held in Bury St Edmunds’ beautiful Athenaeum.



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