Yes, I remember— was commissioned as a tribute for the late Sir Colin Davis, for a special concert held in 2013 at Cadogan Hall, London, in aid of the Christ’s Hospital Foundation.
Sir Colin was, like me, an “Old Blue”, a former student of Christ’s Hospital, an extraordinary school for children from very ordinary backgrounds; the Foundation funds the education of nearly all the children at the school.
The music begins with a simple C-D motif, i.e. the initials of Colin Davis. This motif is soon joined by a snippet from Votum, a seldom-used but perennially popular school song at Christ’s Hospital. Although I never met Sir Colin, the piece is intended as a reflection on one of the memories we must have shared: other than Votum, that of the Christ’s Hospital train station, on the London to Bognor Regis line. In his day it would have had many platforms and sidings for goods trains, but by my time those extra tracks were disused and overgrown, hidden in nearby woodland. The title also refers to the poem Adlestrop by Edward Thomas, which has always reminded me of waiting at those platforms on a hot, still summer’s day, with just the faint crackle of a distant train approaching, and birds singing in the trees.
Ben Gernon / Mainz Virtuosi at Cadogan Hall, London, on 16th October 2013: a tribute concert for Sir Colin Davis.
Here is a video of the first performance.
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