#ClassicsaDay #ArmisticeClassics Week 4

November 19, 2018, is the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. The #ClassicaDay team asked participants to post classical works related to the conflict. 

 For my part, I tried to find examples from both sides of the war, and from as many different countries as possible. Here are my posts from the last week of November.

Rudi Stephan (Germany) – Music for Orchestra (1912)

Stephan’s “Music for Orchestra” marked him as one of the most promising composers of the early 1900s. His music pushed past post-romanticism into an early form of Expressionism. He was killed by a sniper at the Russian front in 1915. He had completed only about twenty works.

Benjamin Britten (UK) – Diversions for Piano Left Hand and Orchestra, Op. 21

Pianist Paul Wittgenstein lost his right arm while serving in the Germany army during World War I. Determined to carry on after the war, he commissioned left-handed piano works from composers across Europe. Wittgenstein commissioned this work from Britten in 1940. He premiered it in 1942 with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Like all of his commissions, Wittgenstein retained exclusive performance rights during his lifetime.

Arthur Benjamin (Australia) – Viola Sonata

Australian composer Arthur Benjamin was serving in the Royal Flying Corps when he was shot down in 1918. He had lost the dogfight to Herman Goering. Benjamin was sent to the Ruhleben internment camp, where several other professional musicians (mostly enemy civilians) were held. He wrote an unpublished violin sonata for performance at the camp.

Charles Ives – They are There! (1918)

Charles Ives wrote “They Are There!” to stir patriotism for the war effort. It’s pure Ives. The music mashes up several patriotic songs. According to the lyrics, “Most wars are made by small stupid selfish bossing groups, while the people have no say. But there’ll come a day when they’ll smash all dictators to the wall.”

 

John Foulds – A World Requiem, Op. 60

Fould’s World Requiem is a memorial to all the casualties of the Great War, regardless of nationality. It required over 1,200 performers. The Requiem premiered in 1921. Initially popular, A World Requiem was seldom performed after 1926, when attitudes towards the conflict changed. Foulds career faded along with the popularity of A World Requiem.

More Recent Posts

  • New Blues & Soul News- 12/18/2018

    New Blues & Soul News – 12/18/2018 Cedric Burnside – Benton County Relic (Single Lock): Veteran North Mississippi bluesman Cedric Burnside offers the hard core North Mississippi blues, a merger between the Hill Country blues as created by his grandfather R.L. Burnside,  Junior Kimbrough, Jessie May Hemphill and Otha Turner and more recently mixed with […]

  • New Jazz Adds – 12/18/2018

    New Jazz Adds – 12/18/2018 Shelly Berg & Jose Serebrier – Gershwin Reimagined: An American In London (Decca Gold): Pianist/arranger/producer and conductor/composer Jose Serebrier have joined forces with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to give a new expression to the works of George and Ira Gershwin. Berg opens with his trio featuring his piano, Chuck Berghofer […]

  • WTJU Best of 2018: Peter

    Peter hosts Folk & Beyond Thursday afternoon from 4 to 7 (eastern). “There are loads more albums I enjoyed this year, but these releases kept finding their way back to my playlists throughout 2018.  As in past years, I am not including any local acts, as there are far too many which would take up […]

  • WTJU Best of 2018: Emily

    Emily hosts Something New on Wednesday afternoon from 4-7 (eastern). ARTIST (ALBUM) LABEL Fru Skagerrak (Ankerdram) Go Danish Folk Music The Andrew Collins Trio (Groove) Andrew Collins Trio Kieran Kane & Rayna Gellert (The Ledge) Dead Reckoning Ana Egge (White Tiger) StorySound Duck Baker (Les Blues Du Richmond/Demos & Outtakes 1973 – 1979) Tompkins Square Kittel & Co. […]

  • WTJU Best of 2018: David Soyka

    David Soyka hosts Jumpin’ on the Bed Saturday afternoon from 4-6 (eastern). ARTIST/ALBUM/LABEL Marianne Faithful/Negative Capability/BMG Bob Dylan/More Blood, More Tracks/Sony 13 Rivers/Richard Thompson/New West Courtney Marie Andrews/May Your Kindness Remain/Fat Possum Neko Case/Hell On/Anti Chris Smither/Call Me Lucky/Signature Sounds Aaron Kee Tajan/Karma for Cheap/New West Lee Ann Womack/The Lonely, the Lonesome and the Gone/ATO […]

  • WTJU Best of 2018: Steve Kindig (World)

    Steve Kindig co-hosts Beyond Borders, heard Wednesday afternoon from 12-2 (eastern). ARTIST/ALBUM/LABEL Fatoumata Diawara/Fenfo/Shanachie Absolutely my favorite world music release of the year. Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara has crafted an album of original songs that manages to sound both traditional and contemporary, with just the right amount of pop polish. The sound quality is spectacular! Friends […]