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To The Fallen: Remembrance Concert

Lost Anthony Burgess work receives rare performance after 60 years for Remembrance Sunday

Published on November 6th 2012.


To The Fallen: Remembrance Concert

A PIECE of music thought lost for more than 60 years - written by A Clockwork Orange author and internationally acclaimed composer Anthony Burgess - will receive its first major public performance in a special concert at IWM North this Remembrance Sunday. 

Burgess, who died in 1993 aged 76, was a novelist, composer, poet, playwright, linguist, translator and critic. As well as writing 60 books including novels, non-fiction, journalism and memoir, he composed more than 150 musical works which are only now beginning to receive critical acclaim. 

The composition, Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor, is dedicated ‘For The Dead’ of the Second World War and was written when Burgess was on active service in Gibraltar in 1945.

It disappeared for more than 60 years before being discovered again in 2011. The sonata is considered an important discovery in the understanding of Burgess’ musical career, as his time in Gibraltar during the Second World War was significant for his musical life. 

Very little of the music Burgess wrote while abroad has survived. The sonata is his earliest surviving complete piece. After the Second World War, he left the sonata with friends for safekeeping but it was not seen again until it was discovered in boxes retrieved from Burgess' house in Italy by the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. 

Burgess, who died in 1993 aged 76, was a novelist, composer, poet, playwright, linguist, translator and critic. As well as writing 60 books including novels, non-fiction, journalism and memoir, he composed more than 150 musical works which are only now beginning to receive critical acclaim. 

He left Manchester in 1940 to serve in the Second World War, where he played the piano in a regimental dance band and composed music. 

The event at IWM North, at 3pm on Sunday 11 November in Burgess’ home city of Manchester, is in conjunction with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and leading contemporary ensemble Psappha. 

It's free and will also include readings of poetry by Burgess, as well as poets of the First World War, including Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke. Some of Sassoon’s medical papers are on display in IWM North’s major current exhibition, Saving Lives : Frontline Medicine in a Century of Conflict

The performance is part of a series of activities, tours and experiences to mark Remembrance at IWM North this November. Every day at 11am, from 5-11 November, visitors can experience the Remembrance Big Picture Show – a 360-degree immersive audiovisual show. 

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