Schoonbeek de Vlaming, Geert

Education: A self-taught composer Geert Schoonbeek de Vlaming studied music sciences for a short time at Amsterdam University. He was privately tutored in Counterpoint and Harmony. Employment: 1980 - performing musician 1998 ...

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1914 – Dulce et Decorum est – 2018 : for tenor and ensemble / Geert Schoonbeek de Vlaming; texts by Guillaume Apollinaire, Evangelist Mark and Käthe Kollwitz

Publisher's number: 13192
Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice and large ensemble
Scoring: ten fl cl-b timp 4perc pf str
Duration: 45'00"
Year of composition: 2013
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Other authors:
Apollinaire, Guillaume (librettist)
Evangelist Mark (librettist)
Kollwitz, Käthe (librettist)
In 1995 I started to read books about The Great War and experienced a strong feeling of recognition because of experiences in my youth. In 2007 I decided to create a composition in remembrance of those who died and suffered during that war. I've been working seven years on the score that lies before you. The war to end all wars was unfortunately only the beginning of more tragedy in our world ...

The piece is composed around three texts being: in the opening movement the poem Fête, from the posthumous bundle Calligrammes (1918) by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) in which he compares the war with a party. He 'enjoys' the spectacle in which he recognizes beauty and love. This text also symbolizes for me how the warring parties were expecting a very short mobile war. They believed “the boy's will be home by Christmas”...
In the third part I use the biblical text of the Evangelist Marcus (1?-63) My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me/Us? (The Fourth Word from the Cross) All soldiers believed that God was on their side. A pilot flew over No Man's Land and saw on both sides field church services toke place on a Sunday morning. Something snapped in his head. The result was Shell Shock. He only whispered the text above with the alliteration Us instead of Me for the next couple of months.. In the fifth and final part I use phrases from the Tagebuchblätter und Briefe (1948) by the sculptress Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945). After the death of her son Peter (1896-1914) in the beginning of the war she wants to create a memorial-monument for him and all fallen. She worked for 18 years to create two images of a kneeling older couple. Who were placed on the the German military cemetery in Vladslo, Belgium the 14th of August 1932. The ensemble pieces are placed in between. In part two the memory of an amputation of the right arm of a pianist comes back and in part four a violinist's is wandering across No Man's Land.

As a composer I identify myself with the famous words of Wilfred Owen: ‘All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful'.

This work is dedicated to the numberless people who died during The Great War.

Geert Schoonbeek de Vlaming

Sheet Music
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Score Download to Newzik (A3), 56 pages EUR 34.36
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