“Women and War” performed by Verica Grmusa & Harriet Bushman
This recital marks the centenary of the end of World War One. It tells the stories of war through the music composed across the globe, but also across different times in history. While it starts with ‘War to End All Wars’, the recital unfolds threading the music of World War Two and more recent history. It shifts the focus from the predominantly masculine narratives of war to the lens of female experiences, with songs of love and losses that highlight war’s universal themes. Recital also casts spotlight on several remarkable women performers who used song as a platform to command public voice, thus fittingly marking another centenary – that of the Women’s Suffrage movement in UK.
The recital starts with a World War One poem followed by a song by a British composer John Ireland (1789-1962), The Soldier. Composed in 1917, it tells a story of a soldier pondering on his impending death. The focus turns away from the battle field with songs by a Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov (1973-1943): The Soldier’s Wife, who is waiting for her husband’s return, and Vocalise, a wordless lament composed in 1915.