Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music - 27 July 2014

To mark the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, Catherine Bott looks at some of the great musical potential that has been tragically and brutally destroyed by conflict.


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music - Sunday 27 July

Among the superb musical works left behind by fallen composers, perhaps the most touching is the Elegy for Strings 'In Memoriam Rupert Brooke', dedicated to the poet by his friend, composer Frederick Septimus Kelly (pictured), who was also an Olympic gold winning rower and later killed in the Great War. 

Other music tonight comes from Walter Leigh, who joined the British Army in 1941, served on the Desert Front and was killed in action in Libya a year later, just before his 37th birthday; George Butterworth, shot by a sniper during the Battle of the Somme; Cecil Coles, who sent his completed manuscripts home from the Western Front to be looked after by his friend, Gustav Holst; Ivor Gurney, whose health was irreparably damaged by the effects of shell shock; Ernest Farrar, killed at 33 on the Western Front in 1918; the virtuoso organist Jean Alain who was awarded the Croix de Guerre for extreme bravery in a skirmish with German troops; and Ernesto Granados who drowned in 1916, trying vainly to save his wife, after a cross-Channel ferry they were travelling on was torpedoed.