Bears at Bristol’s Wild Place Project serenaded by the Sacconi Quartet

The Sacconi Quartet played 'Heartfelt', a piece written by Roxanna Panufnik based on the heartbeat of Albie the Bear, who is based at the Wild Place Project in Bristol

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The Eurasian brown bears at Bristol’s Wild Place Project were treated to a personal concert from the Sacconi Quartet yesterday, who played a movement from Heartfelt, a new piece by Roxanna Panufnik which is based on a recording of Albie the bear’s heartbeat.

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The recording was captured via a digital stethoscope while Albie was under anaesthetic for a routine castration. ‘Albie’s heartbeat note runs steadily throughout the piece on an F sharp, and really underpins it,’ says Panufnik.

The piece has been recorded by the Sacconi Quartet for Roxanna Panufnik’s new album, Heartfelt, released later this month on Signum Records.

The second movement of Heartfelt performed by the Sacconi Quartet during the concert is titled ‘Lament for a Bulgarian Dancing Bear’, based on the tradition of keeping dancing bears – which was outlawed in 2007.

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Albie and the three other Eurasian brown bears are based in Bear Woods at Bristol’s Wild Place Project, which is also home to five European grey wolves, four lynx – including two lynx kittens – and two wolverines.