THE RELIEF OF DERRY
SYMPHONY OF PEACE
The Relief of Derry was commissioned by Derry City Council in 1988 to commemorate the tercentenary of the city's famous defence against the forces of King James 2nd. In four movements, the 50-minute work portrays a year-long siege, with battles, starvation, the miraculous apparition of a white horse over the town at night, and the arrival upriver of the ships of William of Orange and the lifting of the siege. First performed in 1990 by the Ulster Orchestra, 'The Relief' employs three soloists, pipes and drum corps, and offstage trumpets to engage the audience in the powerful narrative. As required by the commission terms, the work avoids any sense of triumphalism and has since become referred to as a 'Symphony of Peace'.