Sunday 20 March 2016

Sunday WW1 Remembered..

Composers of the Great War

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Portrait of Ralph Vaughan Williams, C.1916, courtest RVW Society

Whilst the poetry  of WW1 is reminiscent of time and place it must also be remembered that music evoked strong feelings and none more so than the compositions of Ralph Vaughan Williams.

George Meredith's poem The Lark Ascending (1881) was Vaughan William's inspiration for his musical composition of the same name. It is thought that the musical piece, The Lark Ascending (1918) is a reflective study on Vaughan William's war experiences. He enlisted as a private into the Royal Army Medical Corp (Territorial Force) where he became a medical orderly and there is no doubt that Vaughan William's experiences as a stretcher bearer left a lasting impression on him. In 1917, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery and was responsible for firing shells towards enemy lines. His deafness in later life is usually attributed to the ear-shattering noise that these big guns emitted.

It is thought that his Pastoral Symphony (1921) and his cantata Dona Nobis Pacem (1936) are his musical response to the war.

Symphony No 3

Pastoral Symphony

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Just to say that this piece is  approx.35 minutes long but well worth listening to.

 If you've time to spare, grab a nice pot of English Breakfast tea and enjoy listening to this stunning piece of music.

It's one of my favourites.


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