Extract from premiere performance at LIVE FROM LONDON Spring 2021

“April is the cruellest month, breeding 

Lilacs out of the dead land…”

T.S. Eliot’s ground-breaking poem ‘The Waste Land’ (100th anniversary in 2022) was written in the wake of the catastrophic upheavals of the First World War and the ‘Spanish Flu’.  

‘Re-Wilding The Waste Land’ is I Fagiolini's creative response, mixing music for voices with the poem and mindful of David Attenborough’s ‘witness statement’ plea to Re-Wild: musical desolation flowers into a subtly positive outpouring of old and new music.

One of the most important poetic creations of the 20th century, ‘The Waste Land’ is almost a stream of consciousness, with characters and viewpoints from Medieval legend to Hindu teaching - and even a scene in a bar. It proffers optimism and pessimism in the same breath.  This programme intersperses readings from it with Renaissance music, choral works from Eliot’s time and new commissions.

“A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, 

And the dead tree gives no shelter ”

The shadowy world of the Tenebrae Responsories by Spanish master Victoria - sung at their rarely heard but intended lower pitch – is present throughout the programme.  Also from the late 16th century, William Byrd’s Deus, venerunt gentes chillingly describes a land wasted through intolerance.

Out of this flow further world premières by Joanna Marsh. And reflecting Indian motifs in ‘The Waste Land’, Shruthi Rajasekar’s ‘Ganga's peace’.

“what are the roots that clutch, 

what branches grow out of this stony rubbish? ”

50 years before T.S Eliot's ground-breaking poem, Manley Hopkins’ sonnet ‘God’s Grandeur’ offers hope that ‘…and for all this, nature is never spent.’ This is sung in Leighton's rapturous setting while Joanna Marsh takes up John F.Deane's response to it, ‘The world is charged’, challenging us to contemplate our own reaction to recent times. 

As Eliot concludes his poem with a request for peace but no easy way to create it, Re-Wilding The Waste Land avoids a simplistic response. Instead, old and new music and poetry mirror the cycles of creation, encouraging reflection and hope.


“I will show you fear in a handful of dust ”

Director Robert Hollingworth

As featured in LIVE FROM LONDON Spring 2021


New commissions

Joanna Marsh

Shruthi Rajasekar

Ben Rowarth

setting poetry by John F.Deane, 

Tim Earley and e.e.cummings

Deus, venerunt gentes 

William Byrd / Ben Rowarth

The World is Charged

now i lay me down


Joanna Marsh

Ganga's peace

Shruthi Rajasekar

Tenebrae Responsories

Tomás Luis de Victoria  

God’s Grandeur

Kenneth Leighton

Silence and Music

Vaughan Williams

Director Robert Hollingworth

7 singers, plus 1 actor to be agreed with promotor.

For further details, booking and availability contact:

Libby Percival  libby@percius.co.uk - Tel: +44 7718 752481

Represented by Percius / www.percius.co.uk

© Copyright 2021 - I Fagiolini