Musical tribute to mark the Armistice
Footnotes to the Great War, a remarkable suite of 20 songs commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War, comes to Westbury Park and St Andrews this month as part of a special musical tour by Bristol's Gurt Lush Choir to mark the Armistice.
This compelling memorial features a number of world premieres, new works and rediscovered musical treasures. It is a highly personal collection chosen by musical director Sam Burns, who over several years took on the daunting task of curating the suite for the choirs to perform in the war’s final centenary year.
“Nearly every detail of the war is disputed by someone which makes it impossible to represent every viewpoint,” says Sam.
“But I believe this collection is musically exciting as well as historically relevant. I think we can safely say that there’s something for everyone – some of the songs are so rabidly jingoistic they are bound to touch a raw nerve or two; others may find it stirring. Everything in this suite feels relevant and important today.”
Highlights of the suite include: The world premiere of a commissioned composition of Wilfred Owen’s poem The Show, by award-winning Bristol composer Phil Dixon plus other new arrangements written especially for the occasion.
An Ivor Novello/Fred Weatherly composition dedicated to Bristol’s volunteer regiment and sung in 1915 by Bedminster’s famous songbird Clara Butt to recruit volunteers.
The new Pankhurst Anthem, commissioned by the BBC in 2018 to mark 100 years of some women getting the vote.
Ruthless recruitment marches, sardonic soldier’s laments, songs from composers and poets that died in the fighting, and more recent works, looking back with the privilege of hindsight.
Readings between songs, illuminating the historical context.
Sam continues: “While not an exhaustive representation, every song tells the story of someone’s war. We invite you to come and help us remember.”
Footnotes to the Great War is performed locally on the following dates:
Oct 27, 7.30pm at St Alban’s Church, Coldharbour Rd, Westbury Park, BS6 7NU.
Nov 4, 3pm at B&A Church, Sommerville Rd, St Andrews, BS6 5BZ.
A special Armistice performance is being held at 6pm on November 11 at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Rd, BS8 1RL
Tickets cost £10 adults, £2 under 18s and are available here: www.tickettailor.com/events/gurtlushchoir