As we approach this Remembrance day, at Millers we would like to take the opportunity to commemorate not only the lives of those lost or injured in conflict, but also the orchestras, legionnaires, choirs and bands across the country who continue to keep the memories of the fallen alive. We want to help unite the country through the power of music. Celebrating the beautiful pieces written across the centuries to help commemorate the sacrifices made by so many and continue to make us proud to be British.
2020 has undoubtedly been one of the most shifting of years in modern memory and as we approach this Remembrance Sunday, at Millers we would like to take the opportunity to commemorate not only the lives of those lost or injured in conflict, but also the orchestras, legionnaires, choirs and bands across the country who continue to keep the memories of the fallen alive.
Despite being further apart than ever this year, we are firm believers in the power of music bringing us together. Whilst no crowded ceremony will take place this year, a closed government ceremony still will go ahead as planned and the Royal British Legion are still encouraging people across the country to get involved however we safely can. The government has also posted guidance on how you can safely pay respects.
But for those who are perhaps unable to attend ceremonies this year, we want to help unite the country through the power of music. Celebrating the beautiful pieces written across the centuries to help commemorate the sacrifices made by so many and continue to make us proud to be British.
Following your two minute’s silence at 11AM on the 11th this year, we would like to encourage you to take a listen to these tracks and pay you respects in any way that you can.
The Last Post:
The last post has continued to be a staple and crucial part of memorial services and military practice since the 18th Century. It acts as a symbolic final farewell, symbolising the duty and sacrifice made by soldiers and servicemen and women so they can rest in peace.
During services organised by the Royal British Legion, it is expected that no salute is given during the "Last Post" and Silence, as all personnel will have removed head dress as in church service prayer, have heads bowed, weapons inverted, and flags and standards lowered.
Nimrod - Elgar (1898)
No remembrance list would be completed without the works of Edward Elgar and ‘Nimrod’ remains one of his most famous compositions. Interestingly the piece is actually named after Nimrod’s music editor Augustus J Jaeger, who continued to inspire Elgar throughout his life to compose. The name 'Nimrod' stems from a biblical character within the Old Testament who is described as a ‘mighty hunter’ - Jäger being German for hunter, relating to Jaegar’s namesake.
‘Nimrod’ has remained a staple for all services of Remembrance and continues to be used at British Funerals and celebrations alike. It was even featured in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.
I Vow To Thee My Country - Hymn (1921)
Created in 1921, when a poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice was set to music by Gustav Holst. ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’ was written (and re-written) as Spring Rice’s homage to themes of love and sacrifice during the war.
The hymn continues to be used throughout memorial services and featured in the likes of Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965 and was even Princess Diana’s favourite hymn, played both her wedding and funeral.
O Valiant Hearts - Hymn (1925)
Another staple hymn of commemoration to those fallen in the first world war, the piece is composed of written poems by Sir John Stanhope Arkwright and sung to the tune of “The Supreme Sacrifice” by Rev Dr Charles Harris.
The piece focuses around the ultimate sacrifice those young men made through lines such as “To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save.”
The Sprit Of England - Elgar (1917)
To finish off our list, we return to Elgar and his ‘The Sprit Of England’ a 27 minute composition composed of works for chorus, orchestra, and soprano/tenor soloist in three movements.
Elgar set the poems from Laurence Binyon’s 1914 The Winnowing Fan: Poem's Of The Great War and dedicated the piece for those fallen in battle, saying: "To the memory of our glorious men, with a special thought for the Worcesters".
As we all take the time to reflect this Remembrance Sunday, we encourage you to share your own renditions of the staple pieces which help you remember, reminisce and commemorate those who gave their lives throughout history. Feel free to send us your renditions via email or use #MillersMusic on our social media platforms.