‘The Unknown Soldier’ is a stunning contribution to the soundtrack of our past as we approach the centenary of the Armistive, signed November 11 1918.
In the autumn of last year, Richard made a pilgrimage to the battlefields of the Somme and the cemeteries and memorials that commemorate the longest and bloodiest battle of the First World War. This experience, a hundred years on from the end of the 141-day battle, sparked an urgent desire to pay homage in music to the memory of the fallen, the lost, the many, and to help to keep the flame of remembrance burning.
As he walked the fields and explored the remains of 1916’s trenches and mine craters, his mind was haunted by two great tunes, The Last Post and Abide with Me, that have always been linked with the Great War and its tragic slaughter. Gradually, the two melodies became intertwined in his thinking and he decided he would create a short hymn for orchestra and chorus that would fuse them into a single piece, dedicated to the men who fought ‘the war to end wars’.
Scored for orchestra, chorus, solo trumpet, military drums, violin and soprano voice, ‘The Unknown Soldier’ is a moving contribution to the soundtrack of our past. As we approach the centenary of the Armistice, signed on 11 November 1918, the horrors of World War I are starting to slip away into history. But history holds lessons for every generation. With this brief, evocative composition, Richard Harvey has done his bit, in however small a way, to ensure the heroism and sacrifices on the Western Front will not be forgotten. #remembranceday
The Unknown Soldier by Richard Harvey – out now 11.10.18 on various platforms: https://westonemusicgroup.lnk.to/TUS.