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Donald Macleod explains how Ivor Gurney discoved his passion for music.

Gurney discovers his passion for music

It's a story that begins full of possibility and hope; Gurney was one of the brightest musical lights of his generation. He imagined himself as Schubert's heir; a fresh, young genius whose music and poetry would revolutionise British society. Donald Macleod discovers how that early promise came to fruition and then unravelled, as Gurney struggled with the horrors of World War One and serious mental illness. Gurney expert, Dr Kate Kennedy, joins Donald to uncover the man behind the tragedy and explore the art he produced in the face of enormous adversity. Much of Gurney's output is still rarely performed, and several works have been specially recorded for these programmes.

Ivor Gurney grew up in the shadow of Gloucester Cathedral and, at the age of nine, he became a chorister there. Gurney would go on to compose a number of choral works, although none have ever been recorded until now. 'The Trumpet' has its broadcast premiere in today's programme. After Gurney's voice had broken, he took up the organ. He had lessons at the cathedral, where his fellow students included Herbert Howells, and Ivor Novello. Soon, Gurney's talents landed him an opportunity to study at the Royal College of Music. Just before he left, he composed a Coronation March, also specially recorded for this programme by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 30 Jun 2014 18:30

Clip

Music Played

  • Ivor Gurney

    5 Elizabethan songs

    Singer: Paul Agnew. Performer: Julius Drake.
    • HYPERION : cda-67243.
    • HYPERION.
    • 12.
  • Ivor Gurney

    The Trumpet for chorus and orchestra

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo. Choir: BBC Singers.
  • Ivor Gurney

    Coronation march

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: David Parry.
  • Ivor Gurney

    Nocturne in B major for piano

    Performer: Mark Bebbington.
    • Somm: SOMMCD038.
    • Somm.
    • 5.
  • Ivor Gurney

    On your midnight pallet

    Singer: Roderick Williams. Performer: susie allan.
    • SOMM: SOMMCD057.
    • 1.
  • Ivor Gurney

    Dearest, when I am dead

    Singer: Roderick Williams. Performer: susie allan.
    • SOMM: SOMMCD057.
    • 2.
  • Ivor Gurney

    5 Elizabethan songs - Sleep

    Singer: Bryn Terfel. Performer: Malcolm Martineau.
    • Deutsche Grammophon:002894742192.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 4.

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