On Saturday 23 October Liz Lane’s commission Holding the Hill for orchestra, narrator and violin, will receive its World Première in a concert with the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra, conducted by Fiona Crawley, with solo violinist Marie Roberts.
This concert commemorates the Battle of the Imjin River and it will take place at 2:30pm at St Paul’s Church, Parkend.
Holding the Hill has been composed by Liz Lane to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Imjin River, Korea, 22 – 25 April 1951, specifically the role taken by the Gloucestershire Regiment (Glosters) and in particular soldiers from the Forest of Dean. They were a close group of soldiers, many of whom on national service, had not heard of Korea and were expecting their posting to be something of a fun adventure. As Liz tells us;
Throughout the music and with various melodies, I have portrayed this close sense of comradeship, whilst never leaving behind the horror of what was involved. It is impossible to do musical justice to the realities of what went on – merely to represent and honour what happened from a personal compositional perspective.
The music is in three movements and a musical reflection on some of the international and human stories of the battle; I am grateful to the many kind people who shared with me their knowledge and expertise. The first movement, Hill 235, represents the role of the Forest of Dean Glosters in action and the aftermath. The second, Hymn to the Cross is inspired by the famous Carne Cross, carved by Colonel Carne whilst imprisoned, and a fluke accident in battle with a watch which was left damaged and engraved with the sign of the cross. The third, Legacy, reflects on the soldiers’ homecoming and the legacy left by the battle.
Narration is also incorporated into the music; a poem especially written by my friend and colleague Jennifer Henderson and by Private David Gardiner 22345661 [1930-2010], who was one of the Forest of Dean Glosters and fought in action.
Holding the Hill will be published by Composers Edition shortly