Silver Rose is a musical response to five poems by Bristol born poet Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918), who died in action during World War 1. Working collectively like a song cycle, the poems are read before and during each of the five musical movements; the lyrical line can be clearly traced in the first, third and fifth (On Receiving News of the War, A Careless Heart and Song) whereas the second and fourth (Beauty and Returning, We Hear the Larks) are a more dramatic and aesthetic reflection. The choice of texts for the musical settings echo perspectives including the atrocities of war and hope for peace.
The title, Silver Rose, takes its name from two sources. The 1914 Star was a British campaign medal awarded to men who served in France or Belgium between 5th August and 22nd November 1914. Those who fought under enemy fire were also entitled to a bronze horizontal clasp engraved with the above dates and could attach a small silver rose to the ribbon when not wearing the medal. The final movement of the work, Song, also includes the words ‘silver rose’.
Silver Rose was commissioned by Bristol City Council with funding from Arts Council England and first performed by Lydbrook Band, conductor Ian Holmes, narrator Robert Hardy CBE, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 9 November 2014
Selected comments from audience of performance by Lydbrook Band, South-West Open Youth Orchestra, UWE Singers, Alison Howell, Ian Holmes, Barry Farrimond, 16 April 2016, Bristol Cathedral:
“….what more can I say about the emotive Silver Rose – the new version with the added parts just took it to another level”
“The evolving nature of ‘Silver Rose’ is marvellous and it was fascinating to hear the adaptations you have made for all the different musicians…. What a momentous occasion!”
“Thank you for the wonderful Silver Rose music. I absolutely love it and marvel at anyone who has the ability to be able to do that. I have Silver Rose still, on my brain, for most of the day.”
“Please pass on my congratulations to Liz. Her piece was amazing.”
“I came to the concert at Bristol Cathedral on Saturday night and was impressed by Silver Rose. What a sensitive and powerful piece of music you have created which really reflects the feelings and thoughts of the texts of the five poems…. Another aspect of your music which really struck me was the clear and interesting textures to the sounds you have conjured up.”
“a privilege to take part in such an exciting venture as Silver Rose.”
“It was brilliant Liz. I take my hat off to you!”
“Congratulations Liz. A fine evening. Well done. You have created a great project from a small grant.”
“Just wanted to say that the much-used word ‘inspiring’ was absolutely the right word on Saturday – ours was the privilege to be part of such a wonderful event”
“WOW!!! JUST WOW!!! That was one of the best concerts that I have ever been involved in. The atmosphere was incredible….”
Tags: Alison Howell, Arts Council England, Barry Farrimond, Bristol City Council, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Ian Holmes, Liz Lane, Lydbrook Band, Robert Hardy, Silver Rose, South-West Open Youth Orchestra, UWE Singers