Music of The Great War
Listening to Classic FM early this morning I was inspired by a piece of music
which was composed just before the outbreak of WW1 in August 1914.
Sospiri Opus 70 by Edward Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM GCVO (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English composer, born in the village of Lower Broadheath, a village just outside Worcester. Among his best-known compositions are the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, several concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed classic choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius.
Listen to Sospiri
Sospiri, Op. 70, is an adagio for string orchestra, harp (or piano), and organ (or harmonium) composed by Edward Elgar just before the beginning of World War I.
Originally intended for violin and piano and Elgar used it as a companion piece to Salut d'Amour and had in mind the title Soupir d'Amour (French for "Sigh of Love"). While composing it, however, he realised that he was writing something more intense, and so chose an Italian word, sospiri, meaning "sighs"
Sospiri with a performance time of approximately five minutes, was first performed on 15 August 1914 in Queen's Hall in London, conducted by Sir Henry Wood.
War was declared on the August 4th 1914.
The gentleness of Sospiri bears no resemblance to what would shortly be taking place on the Western Front.