Ode of Remembrance - Musical Settings

Musical Settings

Sir Edward Elgar set to music three of Binyon's poems ("The Fourth of August", "To Women", and "For the Fallen", published within the collection "The Winnowing Fan") as The Spirit of England, Op. 80, for tenor or soprano solo, chorus, and orchestra (1917). His setting of "For the Fallen" sparked some controversy as it was published shortly after another setting of the same poem by the composer Cyril Rootham. Neither composer was responsible for this, and Elgar initially offered to withdraw but was persuaded to continue by the literary and art critic Sidney Colvin and by Binyon himself.

"They shall grow not old..." was set to music by Douglas Guest in 1971, and has become a well-known feature of choral services on Remembrance Sunday. Nottingham-based composer Alex Patterson also wrote a setting of the text in 2010. The text of For the Fallen has also been set by Mark Blatchly for treble voices, organ and trumpet (which plays The Last Post in the background).

Time of our Darkness, the title of a novel by South African author Stephen Gray, is a reference to the last two lines of For the Fallen: 'As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, To the end, to the end they remain.'

Artists Rifles, a CD audiobook published in 2004, includes a reading of For the Fallen by Binyon himself. The recording itself is undated and appeared on a 78 rpm disc issued in Japan. Other Great War poets heard on the CD include Siegfried Sassoon, Edmund Blunden, Robert Graves, David Jones and Edgell Rickword.

Read more about this topic:  Ode Of Remembrance

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