Flight Elegy


violin and piano
Commissioned by the Brighton Festival with funds provided by South EastArts
First Performance
8.5.84, St Bartholomew's Church, Brighton: Irvine Arditti/Philip Mead

Score and part 0-571-51725-0 on sale

Programme Notes

Flight-Elegy is an elegy for the RAF pilot and violinist Peter Gibbs. I knew him slightly when he was leader of the BBC Scottish Orchestra, in which I also played. He was extremely good-looking and rather fierce with conductors. He sometimes performed violin concertos and could, in the words of Norman Del Mar, ‘play like an angel’ though there occasionally manifested itself a strange erratic flaw. He remained passionately devoted to flying and would often take his plane to engagements. He rarely bothered with a map, but would dive down to read the road signs; in fact he showed a lofty disregard for the laws of aviation, at times flying under bridges, etc. He died in mysterious circumstances. He took off at dusk in his plane from a remote sea-lochside spot in Western Scotland. He never returned. His body was later found without a scratch or trace of sea salt a few hundred yard inland. The plane was never found. Jonathan Harvey

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News & Reviews

'Flight Elegy' reviews

'An utterly becalmed and forlorn violin melody floats high above the piano╩╣s enigmatic soundscape.' The Classical Source (Steve Lomas), November 2001 Read more

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