Sounds in the Silent Air

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David Borrill

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Reflections on the impact of the First World War on the creative soul of English music.

‘Sounds in the Silent Air’ takes its title from a song by Ivor Gurney (1890 –1937). He was one of a number of English composers who fought in the First World War, alongside Arthur Bliss and Ralph Vaughan Williams. How did their experience affect the music they wrote and what impact did it have on their creative soul? This eBook reflects on these issues.

 Selected works by Gurney, Bliss and Vaughan Williams are contrasted with music from composers of an earlier generation including Stanford, Parry and Elgar.

The First World War in many ways changed the Britain for ever; would English music ever be the same again?