1918: Remembrance, Peace and Light
We commemorated 100 years since Armistice Day with a new programme of music and readings at two special concerts.
The programme remembered composers who fought during World War One or who served the war in some capacity – including George Butterworth, Ivor Gurney, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Maurice Ravel. We were delighted to perform Gurney’s Since I Believe in God the Father which has only come into print for the first time in 2018.
We remember composers in more recent works including Kiss the Bairns, written by BAFTA award winner Jessica Curry in 2016 in collaboration with Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy as part of a larger work called The Durham Hymns.
Our concerts featured works by other composers who lived during the war including Parry, Elgar, Grainger and Reger, and we contemplated the peace that the Armistice brought through a recent and haunting setting of the Nunc Dimittis by the Polish composer Lukaszewski and another setting by Holst. That peace brought new understanding and new light which we share in recent works from Lauridsen and MacMillan.
Our London concert took place in the Welsh Church of Central London where Prime Minister Lloyd George was a regular attendee. Lloyd George went on to establish the Cymanfa Ganu – a festival of sacred hymns – to commemorate those who died on all sides of the conflict.