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Remembrance Sunday in the UK will fall on Sunday, 8th of November 2020. This year because of the pandemic, we will pay homage to the fallen in different ways. I would like to share with you my choice of music for Remembrance Sunday.

There will be no annual public Remembrance Sunday March past the London Cenotaph, in view of the risks possible due to the pandemic. The government will, however, be holding a closed Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph and you will be able to watch or listen to this on the TV or radio.

Depending on our individual circumstances and current lockdown restrictions, we will not be able to attend a Sunday church service or other public gathering to pay our respects.

Music for Remembrance Sunday

Here is some of the music that I will be listening to on Remembrance Sunday.

So They Gave Their Bodies by Peter Aston

The text is taken from the funeral oration by Pericles and the music has a haunting reference to the Last Post.

There are fleeting and subtle moments of dissonance that are bearably noticeable.

Elegy by Sir George Thalben-Ball

Thalben-Ball had to improvise on the organ after a live broadcast of a war-time BBC daily religious service finished early.

The BBC received numerous phone calls enquiring as to the name of the composition. In response, Thalben-Ball wrote down the music, to the best of his memory and so his Elegy in B-flat which he dedicated to the organist Sir Walford Davies, was born.

Solemn Melody by Sir Henry Walford Davies KCVO OBE

Solemn Melody was written in 1908 originally for cello, strings and organ.

You can listen to it here in Roy Perry’s arrangement for organ.

This is a beautiful composition, often played during remembrance services.

Aria by Noel Rawsthorne

A composition soothing to the heart that is perfect for contemplation and remembrance.

Ave Maria by Astor Piazzolla

Completely different to the music style we associate with Piazzolla. In this case I’ve chosen an unusual yet beautiful version of Ave Maria for remembrance.

Piazzolla originally wrote it for oboe and piano.

Celtic Blessing by Colin Mawby KSG

Colin Mawby died in 2019 and was one of the most important British music contributors to the Roman Catholic liturgy.

Mawby’s version of Celtic Blessing is truly beautiful and perfect for remembrance.

Aria in Classic Style by Marcel Grandjany

A soothing and reflective piece of music. Harmonically it is uncomplicated, yet so tranquil.

We can listen to it here in the frequently performed version for harp and string orchestra.

The Angel’s Farewell from The Dream of Gerontius by Edward Elgar

A soothing and reflective piece of music. Harmonically it is uncomplicated, yet so tranquil.

We can listen to it here in a frequently performed version for harp and string orchestra.

On this solemn day of remembrance, I am sorry for the applause at the end which from a performance point of view is well deserved.

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