"Fanfares in Remembrance" was commissioned by Nick Jarvis, Principal conductor of the Band of the Royal British Legion, Christchurch, Dorset, UK to be premiered during the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium on May 27th, 2017.
The work is a short reflection two World War One bugle calls, ’The General Salute’ and ‘Retreat’ or ‘Sunset’ as it is also known. The significance and symbolism of bugle calls from this era are well known and they are still used in Barracks across the world. I have used sections of these famous British bugle calls on two trumpets either side of the band playing in two different musical keys. The band then plays an intermittent low drone like chord, again in a different musical key to the two trumpets.
In my mind this opening depicts two buglers at dawn at either end of a misty field directly after a brutal slaughter. The two buglers are almost calling out for their missing comrades only to realise they are gone......
The work moves into a haunting oboe melody signifying loss. The oboe is joined by the full band in a tune of strength, solidarity, yet profound sadness.
The work concludes with a recap of the opening idea; however, the two buglers are now united in musical key sounding ‘The General Salute’. The music ends as the wind blows gently. The memories live on forever......
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