World War I : 100 Years On
War, Remembrance and Peace:
Composers and The Great War
Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 7:30 PM
Transfiguration Episcopal Church, San Mateo
3900 Alameda de las Pulgas (corner of 39th Avenue)
St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Redwood City
178 Clinton St. (corner of Brewster Avenue, just off El Camino)
Join the New Millennium Chamber Orchestra as we remember "The war to end all wars" with music of the composers who fought in and lived through the most devastating conflict the world has ever known.
Gustav Holst wrote his electrifying "The Planets" in 1912, when Europe was already feeling the approach of war. We present "Mars the Bringer of War" and "Venus the Bringer of Peace".
Rudi Stephan, one of Europe's most promising young composers, died of a bullet to the head on the Russian Front. Had he lived, the course of music in Europe would almost certainly have been changed.
George Butterworth, a protégé of Holst and one of the most lyrical British composers of his generation, died on the Western Front in France. His "Banks of Green Willow" is an achingly beautiful remembrance of the English countryside.
Ralph Vaughan Williams, a stretcher bearer and artillery officer, was forever scarred by his time on the front lines, and wrote his haunting "Pastoral Symphony" as a response to these experiences.
Maurice Ravel drove a truck during the war and wrote the four movements of "Tombeau de Couperin" in remembrance of four friends killed in the fighting.
Cecil Coles, a promising Scottish composer, wrote "Behind the Lines" shortly before he was killed in action.
We who are left, how shall we look again
Happily on the sun or feel the rain
Without remembering how they who went
Ungrudgingly and spent
Their lives for us, loved too the sun and the rain?
- Wilfrid Wilson Gibson (1878-1962), Lament
from Finzi's "Requiem da Camera"