The Peterloo Massacre occurred on 16 August 1819 at St Peter's Field, Manchester, UK. A crowd had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation, and local magistrates called on the yeomanry to arrest the ringleaders and the cavalry to disperse the crowd. Many people were killed and injured in the ensuing confusion.
In 1968 the Trades Union Congress of England and Wales commissioned Malcolm Arnold to write his Peterloo Overture. In 2007, organist Jonathan Scott recorded a solo work, Peterloo 1819, at Royton Parish Church. The bi-centenary of the massacre in 2019 was marked by the commissioning of various pieces of music in different genres, including The Anvil: An Elegy for Peterloo by Emily Howard.
Spotlight. Evocative and Quite Compelling - On the basis of the two works heard here, Geoff Pearce believes that Emily Howard's music will stand the test of time. '... the assembled forces have done a splendid job in delivering a rather startling performance.'