St Christopher

Gurney and WWI
Event 6
Tuesday October 7th , 8.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

Music and poetry
Ivor Gurney
Black Stitchel - Desire in Spring
Franz Schubert
Kriegers Ahnung
Robert Schumann
Sehnsucht nach der Waldgegend, op94
Ralph Vaughan Williams
A Clear Midnight - Joy, Shipmate, Joy!
Gerald Finzi
Fear no more the heat o’ the sun

This is an archived event from the 2014 Programme.

Roderick Williams baritone  Iain Burnside piano  Philip Franks reciter 

The studies of Ivor Gurney, poet and composer – one of the brightest musical lights of his generation – were broken off by the Great War, in which he was wounded and gassed. Mental instability landed him in an asylum where he spent the rest of his life. His superb songs and poems are sadly neglected – only now becoming known through the devotion of enthusiasts like Iain Burnside.

This fascinating programme intersperses Gurney songs and piano pieces with Philip Franks reading ten of his poems (many still unpublished), and songs by other composers.

The concert will be about 70 minutes long without interval.

We’re delighted to welcome that outstanding baritone Roderick Williams for a second visit to the Festival. He and Iain have recorded a mass of English songs for Naxos.

Iain Burnside, one of our top vocal accompanists, is also a Sony Award-winning broadcaster, a programme planner, a teacher and musical entrepreneur. His play about Gurney, A soldier and a maker (directed by Philip Franks) was broadcast on Radio 3 last July as part of the BBC’s World War One season. Iain gave a programme of Gurney with Susan Bickley at the 2010 Festival, and has recorded a Gurney CD.

Actor Philip Franks is a major star of theatre and TV – an RSC Hamlet who became a household name with a string of TV roles, from The Darling Buds of May onwards. 


Philip will also take all the spoken roles in Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale (Event 5)