Nigel’s latest wind orchestra work `Their Finest Hour’ will be given its premiere performance and broadcast on BBC Radio 2’s `Friday Night is Music Night’ tonight (1st October 2010) at 8pm. It will also be available to hear after that for seven days on BBC iPlayer. Ken Bruce presents Friday Night is Music Night live from RAF Northolt in West London for a special concert remembering the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The BBC Concert Orchestra is conducted by Roderick Dunk, and they join forces with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the RAF Squadronaires under the baton of Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs. Friday Night favourite Mary Carewe is joined by Flight Lieutenant Matt Little for a selection of songs that boosted morale during the wartime years. The programme features music with an aviation theme – including William Walton’s Spitfire Prelude and Fugue; Eric Coates’ Dambusters March, Ron Goodwin’s 633 Squadron and Nigel Clarke’s Their Finest Hour. A poem to accompany Nigel’s work has been written by Martin Westlake.

Their Finest Hour

Our finest, there;
Across history books,
Penning foreign names,
Great loops and swoops
In the blue void,
Floating and fighting,
Fleeing and flailing,
Dotted fuselages
Flaming earthwards
To young deaths
Vengeful brothers,
Stalking and chasing,
Spitting justice,
Howling menace,
Never flinching,
Steadily gaining,
Until fiercely triumphant
In this,
Their finest hour

By Martin Westlake