> Music and social history
Programme for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, 8 July 1923, in aid of a monument to victims of the Somme. The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was eventually built between 1929 and 1932 at Thiepval. Unveiled by the Prince of Wales on 1 August 1932, it carries the names of 72,099 soldiers and was recently described as 'arguably the greatest work of British architecture of the last, murderous century'. In 1923 discussions were still at a very early stage and the 'artist's impression' shown on the programme cover is by the Anglo-Belgian painter and engraver Emile Antoine Verpilleux (1888-1964).
For Great Britain the Battle of the Somme, which began on 1 July 1916, stands as the most harrowing and disturbing reminder of the First World War. An Anglo-French offensive astride the River Somme, it claimed 60,000 casualties on the first day alone. By mid-November, when surviving troops were withdrawn after four-and-a-half fruitless months (and an advance of only eight miles) the figure had risen to 400,000.
The programme shown here is for a concert in London in 1923 in aid of a memorial to the victims.
(Please click the thumbnails below to view larger image)
MUSIC BY COMPOSERS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE BATTLE
Francis Purcell Warren (b.Leamington Spa, 29 May 1895; d.3 July 1916)
2nd Lieutenant, South Lancashire Regiment.
Purcell Warren studied at the Royal College of Music for the four years preceding WWI, his teachers including Thomas Dunhill - and George Butterworth being among his contemporaries. Several short works were published during these years, but the Caprice Fantastique appeared posthumously in a series part-edited by Dunhill. Originally titled Pyrrhic Dance, it had won first prize at the Midland Competitive Music Festival in 1914.
George Sainton Kaye Butterworth, (b.London, 12 July 1885; d.5 August 1916)
2nd Lieutenant, Durham Light Infantry. Awarded the Military Cross.
The twelve Housman songs and the orchestral rhapsody A Shropshire Lad partly based on them (1913; published posthumously in 1917) are Butterworth's major contribution to British music. These copies of the songs belonged to Clive Carey, distinguished baritone, opera producer and singing teacher, whose early career echoed and overlapped Butterworth's in many respects.
Butterworth was an important collector of folk songs and dances and a close friend of other specialists in the field, such as Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharp. With the last-named he collaborated in the publication of two parts of The Country Dance Book in 1912 and 1916.
Frederick Septimus Kelly (b.Sydney, 29 May 1881; d.13 November 1916)
Lieutenant-Commander, B Company, Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division. Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Kelly's pre-war publications ran to seven opus numbers, appearing between 1910 and 1914. However in recent years two posthumous works, both written at the front in 1915, have brought him wider recognition: the Elegy in memory of Rupert Brooke for string orchestra and 'Gallipoli' Sonata for violin and piano.