War Horse: The Story in Concert pairs the live reading of Michael Morpurgo's book with the complete orchestral score from the show. In the original performance in the Royal Albert Hall in 2017, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, choir and soloist were joined on-stage by Michael Morpurgo and Joanna Lumley who shared the reading parts, and Rae Smith the show's designer performed live drawings projected on to a screen.
This was a very fulfilling project to work on, because some ten years after War Horse the play first opened at the National Theatre, I was able to sit down and fully realise the score in properly-orchestrated form for the first time. The score for the play in 2007 was by necessity a studio-conceived affair, involving lots of careful layering of orchestral samples and my own violin and viola playing.. some of it quite hurriedly-so, given the intensity of deadlines and all the production work that had to be done.
Finally, with War Horse: The Story in Concert, I could take some care and time over the orchestration and structure, and produce a live orchestral work that did justice to the original production.
My publishers BMG were hugely generous in commissioning the whole thing to be recorded at Abbey Road studios with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which you can find on Apple Music, Spotify and elsewhere.
2 Fl. (2nd dbl. Picc)
2 Cl. in Bb (2nd dbl. Bass Cl.)
Tuba dbl. Euph.
Perc (2 players)
Songman soloist (baritone, folk style)
Dur. 1 hour 30 mins
extract perf. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra dir. David Angus