Marking the WWI Armistice Centenary Through Music

Nov 8, 2018

Paul Mealor's "Requiem - The Souls of the Righteous" will be performed Nov. 11 at Carnegie Hall

The chiming of bells will ring out on Nov. 11 in communities across the United States and Europe in commemoration of the 100 anniversary of the end of World War I, much as they did that day a century ago following the announcement of the Armistice, signed at 11 am on Nov. 11, 1918.

Bell chimes are just one way in which music will be used to mark this year's centenary of the end of the "war to end all wars." Many ensembles and musicians have chosen to commemorate the day, and the lives lost or otherwise impacted, through musical offerings of their own, and this Saturday (11/10 at 7 pm) A Tempo looks at just a few of the performances and what the artists hope to convey through the programmed works. 

Composer Patrick Hawes, whose Great War Symphony will be included in the Veterans Day concert at Carnegie Hall
Credit Courtesy of the artist

Carnegie Hall will be the site of the US premiere of two new compositions on Veterans Day (celebrated in Europe as Armistice Day):  Patrick Hawes' Great War Symphony, and Paul Mealor's Requiem - The Souls of the Righteous. The concert is presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York. A Tempo host Rachel Katz will speak with both composers about what inspired the works.

In New Jersey, several ensembles are also planning Nov. 11 programs to mark the day. The Hunterdon Symphony, under the direction of Larry Kursar, will present a concert of works by composers who served in World War I, including William Grant Still, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst, at Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington, NJ. The Monmouth Civic Chorus, led by James Ryan Brandau, will perform Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem at Triumphant Life Church in Fort Monmouth, NJ. This week's A Tempo also features a conversation with Kursar and Brandau about dedicating a concert in this year's season to this occasion.

A Tempo airs Saturday at 7 pm.