Patrick Hawes and performers commemorate World War 1

Martin Cullingford4th Oct 2018

Musicians encouraged to explore their own connections to the conflict

Tenor Joshua Ellicott had a box full of letters and photos from his Great Uncle Jack, who joined up at the age of 20 and died aged 21...
...as well as the letter informing Jack’s mother that he had been killed in action.
 Clare Sutherland (Alto, NYCGB) brought her Great Great Uncle Leslie Carr’s Military Bar medal with her to the Abbey Road recording. The Bar shows Leslie won the Military Cross for bravery not once, but twice.
Producer Andrew Sunnucks discovered his grandfather’s diaries and mess tin from the trenches in the attic...
…and even the original box of matches.
Ruth Hoare's (Soprano, NYCGB) Great Great Uncle Bertie's was a budding violinist when he was called up to fight in the war. He died at the Somme but his violin is still in the family and each generation has learnt to play the violin using it. Ruth’s aunt still regularly uses the bow of Uncle Bertie’s violin in the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra.
Patrick Hawes found his Great Uncle Harry’s grave in the tiny Berles Military Cemetery in France and even incorporated his epitaph into the 3rd Movement of the Symphony ‘He Lies With England’s Heroes in the Watchful Care of God’.

TO LAUNCH THE GALLERY, CLICK THE FIRST IMAGE ABOVE

Composer Patrick Hawes’s new work, The Great War Symphony, commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War. A recording - featuring soprano Louise Alder, tenor Joshua Elliott, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain – is available to buy now, while the live premiere takes place on Tuesday at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

During the recording of the four movement work, which Hawes describes as ‘a musical monument in memory of all those who gave their lives during the first world war’, all involved were encouraged to find out about connections between their own families and the War. Some of the musicians share the artefacts and memories which had helped draw them closer to the experiences of those involved in the conflict.

The Great War Symphony receives its live premiere at London's Royal Albert Hall on October 9, a concert in aid of the armed forces charity SSAFA and its American premiere at Carnegie Hall on Armistice Day ityself, November 11

 

 

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