More than 100 years ago - but still apparent - the War to End All Wars, the “Great war”, was fought out for a great part in our Flemish “Westhoek”. On the former battlefields now cattle graze peacefully but hardly two spades deep under the grass time stood still and while tilling the land, bombs and shells are still coming to surface.
It was a four years lasting shambles, often with a gaining of just a few meters ground with the result of a worldwide 10 millions people killed.
The slaughter took place in unheard and severe circumstances. The only way of release from their inexpressible suffering was for some the writing of a last poem or the singing of popular tunes with often rough texts. This brought consolation and distraction in the trenches.
Grupetto literally started digging in the past and made a selection of dozens of these songs. Besides, and especially for this project, Valentijn Biesemans composed music, inspired by texts of British soldier-poets who gave their lives in Flanders’ Fields.
Duration: ca 75 minuten
programme and audio clips
Niemandslandsmarsch - H. Eisler
Armeemarsch 606 from "Minimax" (= parody on military marches) - P. Hindemith
Keep the home fires burning - I. Novello (°)
There's a long, long trail of winding & Pack up your troubles in an old kit bag - F. Powell & Z. Elliott (°)
My Belgian rose - G. Benoit, R. Levenson, T. Garton (°)
The soldier's march from "L'Histoire du soldat" - I. Stravinsky
Berceuse héroïque - C. Debussy
Indiana - J.F. Hanley (*)
K-K-K-Katy - G. O'Hara (°)
The rose of no man's land - J. Caddigan & J.A. Brennan (*)
I don't want to get well - H. Jentes (°)
Dulce et decorum est - V. Biesemans
I want to go home - Trench song (*)
Ich hatt' einen Kameraden - F. Silcher, L. Uhland (*)
(°) arrangement Valentijn Biesemans
(*) arrangement Jo Vercruysse