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Topic: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

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  1. #1

    1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    As a tribute to all the fallen heroes of World War I, I wrote this concert overture. It deals with all the mixed feelings at the end of the Great War. People in our country were overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, with despair, with anger, with joy and happiness, with hope for a better future. They prayed that all these sacrifices for freedom and peace wouldn't be in vain. Alas at that time they didn't realize what the near future would bring... This composition is not purely descriptive or program music. It's an evocation of all these confusing feelings and emotions, expressing hope.
    In my country (Flanders) a lot of remembrance manifestations will honor all these brave men 100 years after the Great War started. This concert piece is my tribute not to forget them.



    Notation and performance (recording): Notion 3
    Strings: Kontakt 4 strings
    Woodwinds and Brass: GPO 4
    Percussion: Notion 3 LSO

  2. #2

    Re: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    I really enjoyed this work, and it was so wonderful hearing a tribute to fallen heroes in the style of your homeland and how it differs from the American style. I heard bugle calls, but the great use of strings and woodwind melodies, "European" chordal progressions (just something I hear in my own head probably,) and delicate use of percussion gave your piece a fresh new insight on the patriotism of another country besides my own. Most American tribute music is mostly brass driving and hymn-like, so thank you so much for sharing your world with us.
    ~Rod

  3. #3

    Re: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
    A wonderful evocation of the spirit of the times.

    It prompted me to search for and find this poem by John McCrae a Canadian doctor who served there.
    -----------------------------------
    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.
    -------------------------------------------
    I've been to see the poppies there many times.
    To shed a tear for those brave spirits, heroes and cowards alike, who nonetheless lay down their lives for the fight against oppression and the tyrants jackboot.

    As usual, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, we shall remember them, and all the fallen.
    Kind regards,
    John.

  4. #4

    Re: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    Quote Originally Posted by composingatnight View Post
    I really enjoyed this work, and it was so wonderful hearing a tribute to fallen heroes in the style of your homeland and how it differs from the American style. I heard bugle calls, but the great use of strings and woodwind melodies, "European" chordal progressions (just something I hear in my own head probably,) and delicate use of percussion gave your piece a fresh new insight on the patriotism of another country besides my own. Most American tribute music is mostly brass driving and hymn-like, so thank you so much for sharing your world with us.
    ~Rod
    Thank you for your kind words. It is indeed my honor the pay a tribute to all these international heroes who gave their lives for our freedom. Let they never be forgotten.

    The bugle calls you here are "The Last Post", played every evening under the Menin Gates at Ypres, a totally destroyed town during WW I. They've been playing this daily with two to four bugles ever since 1918 without exception at 8 pm. (Except during WW II.) Hundreds of people from all over the world attend this ceremony every evening. Under the Menin Gate (a giant monument) thousands of names are engraved in the limestone walls. A few kilometers further are the graveyards with again many thousands of white crosses for all the young soldiers who died in the fist WW. Their graves have no military ranks. All these graveyards are being kept very tidy by the War Grave Commission (an international organization).

    I hope that my work will have a place during one of the many remembrance concerts and manifestations.

  5. #5

    Re: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    Quote Originally Posted by SysExJohn View Post
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
    A wonderful evocation of the spirit of the times.

    It prompted me to search for and find this poem by John McCrae a Canadian doctor who served there.
    -----------------------------------
    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.
    -------------------------------------------
    I've been to see the poppies there many times.
    To shed a tear for those brave spirits, heroes and cowards alike, who nonetheless lay down their lives for the fight against oppression and the tyrants jackboot.

    As usual, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, we shall remember them, and all the fallen.
    Kind regards,
    John.
    We are very familiar with this beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing it in this context. Thanks for listening to my humble tribute and your kind words.

  6. #6

    Re: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    Hello, Max

    You've composed a magnificent piece. Along with you, I have hopes that it will be performed at a concert in Flanders memorializing the brave men who fell during The Great War. I don't see how a more sincere and musically confident tribute could be heard during the upcoming centennial of WWI.

    Rodney "composingatnight" touched on something that occurred to me also as I listened to your moving "1918" - American musical tributes to soldiers are mostly from the same cloth. They're very militaristic, bristling with forte brass, and in turn, very sentimental with direct references to hymns. I found your tribute much more expansive, deeper, and intelligent, and I was grateful for that.

    Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

    P.S. I'm glad John posted "In Flanders fields" - the perfect poetic accompaniment to your music.

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hello, Max

    You've composed a magnificent piece. Along with you, I have hopes that it will be performed at a concert in Flanders memorializing the brave men who fell during The Great War. I don't see how a more sincere and musically confident tribute could be heard during the upcoming centennial of WWI.

    Rodney "composingatnight" touched on something that occurred to me also as I listened to your moving "1918" - American musical tributes to soldiers are mostly from the same cloth. They're very militaristic, bristling with forte brass, and in turn, very sentimental with direct references to hymns. I found your tribute much more expansive, deeper, and intelligent, and I was grateful for that.

    Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

    P.S. I'm glad John posted "In Flanders fields" - the perfect poetic accompaniment to your music.

    Randy
    Thank you very much Randy for these encouraging words. Although it took me quite a while to complete it, it is a small effort in comparison with all the suffering and losses in that terrible and senseless war. The centennial will take four years. My composition evokes the confusing end of the Great War: no reason for real happiness or joy after all the cruel slaughterings and sacrifices, but still, people were filled with unlimited hope for a better future. If the concert overture would be selected, it would rather be near 2018. Let's hope it.
    There are a great number of wonderful poems originating from war poets. Siegfried Sassoon is one of the greatest, but the displayed poem by John McCrae is probably the best known.
    Thanks again.

  8. #8

    Re: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    Hello Max,

    this is a very attractive piece of music with quite a lot of interesting moods and decent orchestration. The only weak point is the beginning. For me it is a bit "langweilig". It gets more lively after the intro when the tubular bells start. But that is my opinion. When you put some strokes of the bells at the very beginning (for me this is always something threatening), followed by those strings, then the strings get more sense and are recognized as being part of the piece. So: bells, the intro strings, bells and the rest. Now those opening strings got feet and hands. For the rest, as I said above, a very interesting piece.

    Well done,

    Raymond

  9. #9
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    Hi Max,

    This was such an emotional and beautiful piece of music; I really enjoyed listening to it.

    It really is a fitting tribute, and I sincerely hope it is performed some day to help countries remember the devastating past and to look towards a peaceful future.

    And thanks to John for posting this great poem; a perfect compliment to Max's music.

    Regards,

    Frank

  10. #10

    Re: 1918, War Remembrances From Flanders' Fields

    Hello Max!

    First, I want to say how great it is to hear this tribute to the first war. It seems (at least in the states) that we rarely hear much of the first World War, the focus being more on the second. With all of the movies, music, and other art dedicated to WW2, it is easy to forget how significant the first world war was, and how much it shaped Europe and laid the groundwork for the second, and most importantly, how many human beings lost their lives in the war.

    This is a great, heart-felt tribute. Full of many clearly defined emotions, this is a well-constructed piece and I believe does a great job of remembering those trying times that left many confused and uncertain of the future.

    Thanks for posting this, it was very nice to hear!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
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