I first met Holger Miertsch, leader of the orchestra ‘grenzenlos’ during the “Paradies 2” project in Lausitz in 2010. At his instigation, I was invited to write a symphony for a German-Polish collaboration by the cultural organisation “Musik und Leben” in Luckau.
The 200th anniversary of the defeat of Napoleon in Luckau was the initial motivation for the commission, which inspired the use of musical themes from France, Poland, Germany and Russia- the four countries involved in the battle. However, 2014 brought with it the 100th anniversary of Sarajevo and the outbreak of WW1, as well as the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Poland by Germany: the beginning of WW2.

Nikolai Church, Luckau

Nikolai Church, Luckau

This project brings together young people from different countries to play together in a celebration of peace- which is of course preferable to the commemoration of war. However, most of younger generation in Europe has never known war. The symphony, which includes a choral 4th Movement based on “Dona Nobis Pacem”, emphasises the unmeasurable value of living in peace, for all.

The symphony has a classical form, in 4 movements. Each quotes well-known themes which carry meaning for the musicians, providing a personal  involvement with the music. The choral text of the final movement is complemented by short narratives by the older members of the choir and orchestra, recounting their experiences and memories of the last war.

More info, clips & press (in German..)


Hazel Leach
Hazel Leach - Credits