1 | Hold the Dwelling Fires Burning
Ivor Novello, born in Cardiff, was solely 21 when he wrote Hold the Dwelling Fires Burning (Until the Boys Come Dwelling) in 1914, which touched all households on the outbreak of conflict with its hopeful message. It was an prompt hit. Novello’s conflict service was much less superb. After a stint within the Royal Navy Air Service, crashing two planes, he loved an extended postwar profession as an actor, author and composer of musicals. The Ivor Novello awards are named in his honour. The phrases of the music are by the American Lena Gilbert Ford, who was divorced and dwelling along with her son in London. Each had been killed by a German air raid on London in March 1918.
2 | Pack Up Your Troubles
This cheery, upbeat marching music was written in 1915 by Welsh brothers Felix Powell (a military employees sergeant) and George Henry Powell (who turned a conscientious objector). It surfaced in music corridor and interwar movies akin to Laurel and Hardy’s Pack Up Your Troubles (1932). In Oh! What a Pretty Battle (1969) it’s sung, ever louder and with deepening emotion, as the primary wounded troopers from the battle of Mons arrive at Charing Cross station. Wilfred Owen used the chorus in his poem Smile, Smile, Smile (1918), a sardonic reference to the false cheer of younger troopers heading out to the entrance, solely to be felled.
3 | Le tombeau de Couperin
Every motion of Ravel’s piano suite (1914-17) is devoted to associates of the French composer who died within the Nice Battle, by which he himself served as a truck driver. The title is indirect, referring to the tomb of the baroque composer François Couperin, and the work pays tribute to an earlier musical fashion, delicate and managed fairly than an emotional outpouring. The primary efficiency was given in Paris in 1919 by Marguerite Lengthy, the pianist widow of one of many useless troopers remembered in Le Tombeau. Accused of creating the music too cheerful, Ravel replied: “The useless are unhappy sufficient, of their everlasting silence.”
4 | Over There
Standard entertainer, producer, playwright and composer George M Cohan, “the person who owned Broadway”, wrote Over There after listening to the information, in April 1917, that America had declared conflict on Germany. Brazen propaganda and the hope that conflict can be transient set the temper for this music, with its a lot borrowed chorus “The Yanks are coming”. It ends emphatically: “And we gained’t come again until it’s over, over there.” Cohan’s story was informed within the movie Yankee Doodle Dandy (starring James Cagney as Cohan, seen writing Over There observe by observe) and the 1968 musical George M!. A statue of him stands in Occasions Sq., New York.
5 | In Flanders
The Gloucester-born Ivor Gurney (1890-1937) wrote poems and songs within the trenches, the place, already bodily and mentally frail, he was shot at and gassed. In Flanders – “I’m homesick for the hills” – is a setting of phrases by his pal William Harvey. It speaks of a longing to be again within the Cotswolds and shares an English pastoral temper captured within the prewar songs of one other good younger composer, George Butterworth, killed by a sniper in August 1916. Gurney was invalided out and spent a lot of the rest of his life in psychological asylums. With horrible irony, the comradeship and routine within the trenches could have been his happiest occasions.
6 | Noël des enfants
This little-known music, written by Claude Debussy in 1915 when he was unwell and depressed by information of conflict, is a piteous story of homeless French kids at Christmas whose homes have been ransacked and destroyed by the enemy. Papa is away at conflict, Mama is useless, the college has been burnt and the schoolmaster too. They haven’t any toys, no wood footwear and, worse than that, no bread. They pray for the little kids of Poland, Serbia, Belgium, concluding “Grant victory to the youngsters of France”. The music was a part of Debussy’s remaining burst of creativity, earlier than his demise, aged 55, in 1918.
7 | Slavic Girl’s Farewell
This Russian patriotic march was written for the primary Balkan conflict (1912), however within the first world conflict turned a well-recognized marching music for the imperial Russian military, well-known too throughout Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia. It was composed by Vasily Agapkin (1884-1964), a regimental trumpeter who served within the Russian/Soviet military and the NKVD, a forerunner of the KGB, for 62 years. He devised the brass music for Lenin’s funeral in 1924 with a band consisting principally of kids left homeless by conflict. He additionally led the orchestra on the annual Crimson Sq. parade in Moscow in 1941, with German forces lower than 20 miles away.
8 | The Planets
Gustav Holst all the time denied that Mars, the Bringer of Battle in his orchestral work The Planets (1914-16), was a direct response to the onset of conflict. But the snarling, bellicose opening and indignant, sweeping principal theme stir indelible photos of warfare. A later motion, Jupiter – the Bringer of Jollity, confirmed the work’s identification with WWI as its melody turned the hymn I Vow to Thee, My Nation. The phrases, written by diplomat Cecil Spring Rice, had been reworked in 1918 to mirror British losses: “The love that by no means falters, the love that pays the worth/ The love that makes undaunted, the ultimate sacrifice.”
9 | To Gratiana Singing and Dancing
Composer William Denis Browne (1888-1915) solid an in depth friendship with poet Rupert Brooke. They had been commissioned collectively as naval volunteer reserves. Browne was with Brooke when he died in Greece en path to Gallipoli in 1915. “Nobody may have wished for a quieter or a calmer finish than in that beautiful bay… aromatic with sage and thyme,” Browne wrote. He reached Gallipoli however was killed in motion weeks later. Most of his music was burnt by a pal instantly after his demise. The wistful, tender To Gratiana, a pinnacle of English music, reminds us of the expertise misplaced within the first world conflict.
10 | The Final Publish
For the British military, the Final Publish, performed to suggest the top of the day, got here to signify a remaining tribute to the fallen. The German-Austrian equal is Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden (I Had a Comrade). The Final Publish is performed each Remembrance Day. Since 1928 it has been performed every night at 8pm on the Menin Gate, Ypres. Robert Graves, wounded on the Somme, wrote a poem, The Final Publish: “O spare the phantom bugle as I lie/ Lifeless within the fuel and smoke and roar of weapons,/ Lifeless in a row with different damaged ones,/ Mendacity so stiff and nonetheless below the sky…”