A Richer Dust -Responding to 1914-1918 at the National Portrait Gallery

Posted on November 18th, 2013 by


Two Concerts for 1914 -1918 National Portrait Gallery, London

Concert 2-Cortege

2nd May 630 pm Room 20 Admission Free

 Peter Sheppard Skærved-Violin

Roderick Chadwick – Piano

End of the concert. Kettles Yard 27 4 14

End of the concert. Kettles Yard 27 4 14

 

The year 1914 inspired lyricism from some composers, mock-heroic posturing and irony from others. In three years, Lilli Boulanger would be dead, and America drawn into the War.

Was jubelt ihr und schwenkt die bunten Tücher?

Und brüllt den Krieg? (Oskar Kannehl-Die Schande:Gedichte eines dienstpflichtigen Soldaten aus der Mordsaison 1914-18

 

Leoš Janácek-Sonata (1914)

Lilli Boulanger-Cortège (1914)

Erik Satie-Choses Choses vues à droite et à gauche sans lunettes (1914)

Charles Ives-2nd Sonata (1912-1914)

Poetry for concert 2. (May 2nd 2014)

Auguest 1914
What in our lives is burnt
In the fire of this?
The heart’s dear granary?
The much we shall miss.
Three lives hath one life-
Iron, honey, gold.
The gold, the honey gone.
Left is the hard and cold.
Iron are our lives
Molten right through our youth,
A burnt space through ripe fields,
A fair mouth’s broken tooth.
(Isaac Rosenberg 1916)

Tod (Karl von Eisenberg)
Er ist tot.
Alle seine tausend Hoffnungen
Sind in den Kalten harten Wintermorgen
Hinausgeflattert
Und dem er fiel.
In alle Winde hinaus.
Keiner faengt sie meh rein.
(He is dead/All his 1000 hopes have fluttered off into the cold hard winter morning on which he died. Scattered to all the winds. Nevermore will anyone recapture them.)
Charles Ives (Back of an Envelope) Feb 26th 1917 (two months before the US entered the war)
‘Why do the rich always
Think for the poor-
Because the poor are
So busy all the time thinking
About how to make a living
That they cant think of
Anything else
Gov by property
Compulsory service
Mean fighting for the
Rich
Le sang coule inutilement dans les fossés immenses que ne veillle nulle idéale moisson
Et vous, ô poètes mes frères, ô les plus manqués des prêtres!
Devant cet Univers livide vous chantez encore votre table
Et votre lit, les murs de votre chamber, vos digestions
Vos amours.

Lois Cendrés Les Poètes contre la Guerre

Everyone sang
Everyone suddenly burst out singing
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom.
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on-on-and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted,
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird, and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.
(Siegfried Sassoon)
Grey Knitting
I like to think that soldiers gaily dying
For the white Christ on fields with shame sown deep,
Will hear the fairy click of women’s needles
As they fall fast asleep.
(Katherine Hale)

‘It is the hour of the writer who picks up popular views or phrases, or coins them, and has the power to turn them into downright stanzas. Most newspapers have one or two of these gentlemen. They could take the easy words of a statesman, such as ‘No price is too high when honour and freedom are at stake’, and dish them up so that the world next morning, ready to be thrilled by anything lofty and noble-looking, is thrilled. (Edward Thomas)

Ocean of Earth
I built a house in the middle of the ocean
Its windows are the rivers which flow from my eyes
Squid groan everywhere as they stick to the walls
Hear their triple hearts and their beaks tapping the glass
Humid House
Hot House
Fast Season
The Season that sings
Aeroplanes beat the eggs
Attention-they are going to cast their anchors
Watch out for the ink they are ready to throw
It would be best, if you varnish the sky
The goat-leaf of the heavens
The palpitating earthbound squid
But then we are our more and more our own gravediggers
Pale squid on the waves of chalk, squid of the pale beaks
You know the ocean around the house
Which never rests
(Apollinaire)

Peter Sheppard Skaerved introducing the Kodaly Duo Op 7, with Neil Heyde. National Portrait Gallery 14 3 14

Peter Sheppard Skaerved introducing the Kodaly Duo Op 7, with Neil Heyde. National Portrait Gallery 14 3 14

Kreutzer Quarttet playing Webern in front of the 1833 Parliament at the NPG 14 314

Kreutzer Quarttet playing Webern in front of the 1833 Parliament at the NPG 14 314

‘Les femmes ont des voiles noirs

Et les jeunes filles sont graves.

On parle à voix basse. Le soir

Tombe… Silence… Un peu d’espoir

Brille en l’ombre ainsi qu’une épave.’ (Cécile Périn)

Garlic and Sapphires in the Mud: some of the works composed 1913-1919 (from PSS Notebook 2013)

Garlic and Sapphires in the Mud: some of the works composed 1913-1919 (from PSS Notebook 2013)

 Peter Sheppard Skærved-Violin with the Kreutzer Quartet and Roderick Chadwick-Piano

Violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved co-curated ‘Only Connect’ at the NPG in 2011. This is the beginning of a series of concerts responding to the complex narrative of 1914-1918.

 LINK to Details on the National Portrait Gallery Website

With Mihailo Trandafilovski at the NPG 14 3 14

With Mihailo Trandafilovski at the NPG 14 3 14

Concert 1-Bagatelles

14th March 630 pm Room 20 Admission Free

 Kreutzer Quartet (Peter Sheppard Skærved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff, Neil Heyde)

 You have built ships and armies with the bread

That should have driven hunger from the land.  (Cale Young Rice The Great Crime-published in the Daily Herald  5th August 1914)

Composers view the collapse of the old certainties: nothing would be as it was before. For Webern and Stravinsky, the string quartet, symbol of the old cultural order, was broken.

 ‘You have built ships and armies with the bread

That should have driven hunger from the land.’ Cale Young Rice (August 1914, in the Daily Herald)

Anton Webern Bagatelles (1913-4)

‘Sonne Halde stampfen keuche Bange

Sonne Halde glimmt stumpfe Wut

Sonne Halde sprenkeln irre Stahle

Sonne Halde flirrt faches Blut.’ (August Stramm)

(Sun slope stamp gasping fears/Sun slope gleams dull rage/Sun slope speckle dull blades/Sun slope flickers many-fold blood)

Igor Stravinsky-3 Pieces (1914)

Zoltán Kodaly – Duo (1914)

Josef Suk-Meditation on a Czech Chorale (1914)

‘What ever mourns when many leave these shores

Whatever shares

The eternal reciprocity of tears, …’ Wilfred Owen

John Foulds- Three Aquarelles (1914)

 ‘La guerre n’est que deuil et que boue.’ (Robert de Sousa December 1914)

(The war is nothing but mourning and Mud)

Morgan Goff in action at National Portrait Gallery tonight 14 3 14

Morgan Goff in action at National Portrait Gallery tonight 14 3 14

Concert 2-Cortege

2nd May 630 pm Room 20 Admission Free

 Peter Sheppard Skærved-Violin

Roderick Chadwick – Piano

 

The year 1914 inspired lyricism from some composers, mock-heroic posturing and irony from others. In three years, Lilli Boulanger would be dead, and America drawn into the War.

Was jubelt ihr und schwenkt die bunten Tücher?

Und brüllt den Krieg? (Oskar Kannehl-Die Schande:Gedichte eines dienstpflichtigen Soldaten aus der Mordsaison 1914-18

 

Leoš Janácek-Sonata (1914)

Lilli Boulanger-Cortège (1914)

Erik Satie-Choses Choses vues à droite et à gauche sans lunettes (1914)

Charles Ives-2nd Sonata (1912-1914)

 Igor Stravinsky-Three Pieces for String Quartet Stravinsky, Igor: Three Pieces for String Quartet (1914 rev.1918) 

Kreutzer Quartet (peter sheppard skaerved-neil heyde-morgan goff-mihailo trandafilovski) 2007

Recording Courtesy of University of Wolverhampton & Colin Still (Optic Nerve)

Voices

‘They all write poetry, and recite it with gusto to any three hours old acquaitance. We all write poetry too, in Englan, but we write it on the bedroom washstand and lock the bedroom doo and disclaim it vehemently in public’ Charles Sorley (Jena 1914)

‘The poet is always our contemporary’ Virginia Woolf

‘Zwei Worte – Feind und Vaterland-

Und alles ist gesprochen.’Rudolf Herzog

(Just two words-enemy and Fatherland-and all is said)

‘Dans la pierre de Reims sculpte ton diadème,

Arras ensanglante soit ton emblème,

Taille pour ton manteaux la pourpre de Verdun.’(Raymonde de Tailhède)

‘Les morts sont tous d’un seul côté’ (René Arcos)

‘Un petit coup sec: c’est fini.’ (André Martel)

 

[audio][/audio]