At the prompting of the Ministry of Information in 1940, Sir Adrian Boult, then still Director of Music at the BBC wrote to John Ireland asking him to consider writing a patriotic march. The first sketches made their way to Boult in June 1941, but the work was finally completed in March the following year. It is safe to say that the BBC was expecting something along the lines of the Pomp & Circumstance Marches, but Ireland felt that it should be more stern and purposeful.
The march had several working titles before he fixed on Epic March, and Ireland insisted that the following definition be printed in the front of the score: “Epic (adj.) Concerning some heroic action or series of actions and events of deep and lasting significance in the history of a nation or race”. The first performance was given at the opening night of the Promenade Concerts Season in the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 27th June 1942 by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Sir Henry Wood.
Item Code: TPBB-006