Quartet Camerata and Simon Woodhead

Quartet Camerata and Simon Woodhead

'Sunshine and Shadows: British Composers and the Great War' was a very special concert which complemented a series of talks about the First World War.  The talks took place in Stony Stratford Library during October.  One of the talks was about music and the Great War given by Bill Prescott.  The concert was a combination of songs, chamber music and poetry commemorating the war performed by Claire Turner (soprano), Jack Cornwell (Tenor), Simon Woodhead (Baritone), Ed Tomlinson (Piano), Eric Thompson (readings), Vicki Shakeshaft (readings), Quartet Camerata (Peter Bussereau - violin, Anna Dryer-Beers - violin, Paul Bennett - viola, Peter Randall - cello).

Claire Turner

Claire Turner

Programme:

Pre 1914

  • Piano Quintet, H49 (1912), second movement - Frank Bridge
  • Love Blows as the Wind Blows (1912) Poems by William Ernest Henley - George Butterworth
  • Shulbrede (1914) - Hubert Parry
  • To Gratiana Dancing and Singing (1913) Poem by Richard Lovelace - William Denis Browne
  • The Send-off - Wilfred Owen

1914-1918

  • The Soldier (1917) Poem by Rupert Brooke - John Ireland
  • Blow Out, you Bugles (1918) Poem by Rupert Brooke - John Ireland
  • Four Songs for Voice and Violin (1916-7) Poems from A Medieval Anthology - Gustav Holst

Interval

  • The Redeemer - Siegfried Sassoon
  • String Quartet No 1 in G major (1918) - Arnold Bax
  • To His Love - Ivor Gurney
  • Severn Meadows (1917) Poem by Ivor Gurney - Ivor Gurney
  • In Flanders (1916) Poem by Frederick William Harvey - Ivor Gurney
  • Desire in Spring (1918) Poem by Francis Ledwidge - Ivor Gurney

Post 1918

  • Merciless Beauty (1921) Poems by Geoffrey Chaucer - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Mantle of Blue (1919) Poem by Padraic Colum - Frank Bridge
  • Music when Soft Voices Die (1927) Poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley - Roger Quilter
  • The Fields are Full (1920) Poem by Edward Shanks - Cecil Armstrong Gibbs
  • String Quartet in G Minor (1909, revised 1921) Movt IV Finale - Ralph Vaughan Williams

To end

  • Perhaps - Vera Brittain
  • Is My Team Ploughing? (1911) Poem by A E Houseman - George Butterworth

The programme contained extensive notes about each composer and the performers (compiled by Anna Woodhead), who produced a wonderful, moving, thought-provoking and evocative evening of beautiful music for the audience of over 100 people.

I would like to thank the Music for all @ SMSG team who helped set up, serve refreshments and tidy away afterwards, David Scrutton for suggesting the concert and doing so much behind the scenes to bring it about even though he couldn't attend on the day, Liz Jackson of the Royal British Legion who looked after the table of poppies and all those who contributed in any way to make this such a lovely occasion.  £474 was raised for the Royal British Legion, which was founded by veterans of the WW1 conflict and provides direct care and support to Armed Forces and veteran families in need.

You can view photos of this concert at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/sets/72157646886460403/