At a Loss of Innocence

Love and war through song


Event Details

Ludlow and Teme (1920, revised 1925), music by Ivor Gurney (1890-1937); poetry by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)
Fish in the unruffled lakes and other songs (1937-1941), music by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976); poetry by W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

Brian Giebler, tenor
Steven McGhee, piano

British composers Ivor Gurney and Benjamin Britten set some of their most intense life experiences to music as young men during wartime. Gurney wrote of his experience as a soldier during the First World War using poetry from A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad. Britten set the words of his friend W. H. Auden, texts about self-discovery and sexual awakening as self-exiled compatriots in the United States during the World War II. Both men dealt with colossal shifts in their world by setting intensely intimate music to equally beautiful words. These songs have a nostalgic fondness for youth, as if looking back from the threshold of adulthood, with one foot in the old world and one in the new. Join us as we navigate the early 20th century’s fields of love and war through Gurney’s and Britten’s songs.

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Our historic Kerrytown neighborhood