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Fanfare and Chorale

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Brass Band (standard)

Duration (approx)   6 minutes
Composed   2012
Publisher   Music Haven

Jersey International Music Festiva

First performance   10th May 2012
Venue   The Royal Square, St Helier
Orchestra / Ensemble   Jersey Premier Brass
Conductor   Keith Sunter

Single movement

Programme Notes

I discovered that the famous 307 Squadron - also known as the Eagle-Owls - consisted, almost exclusively, of Polish airman. It was, in fact, the only Polish night fighter squadron fighting alongside the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. The squadron played a significant part in 'Operation Nest-egg' which saw the liberation of the Channel Islands from German occupation in May, 1945.

Could these airmen have known anything of the conditions suffered by their compatriots on the ground? Conversely, the labourers themselves can have had no notion that this brave Polish squadron would play such a vital role in their own liberation. Of course, these ponderings soon lead beyond the circumstances of one particular nation to consider the broader question of humanity in crisis. With this in mind, I felt it important not just to celebrate the euphoria of release but to reflect on events and circumstances prior to liberation.

So this piece moves, as it were, from darkness to light. The opening fanfare has the feeling of a "gathering storm", to borrow from Churchill's account of the period. The fanfare subsides to be replaced by a solemn, chorale-like theme in C minor. This contemplates the hardship and suspension of hope felt by the islanders and prisoners far from home. The final iteration of the theme is the turning point and, moving into E flat major, celebrates both the bravery of the liberating forces and the triumph of hope by the suppressed inhabitants. The varied repeat of the opening fanfare speaks for itself - a jubilant conclusion.

The work is dedicated to those who endured and fought against the occupation of Jersey.

Related News

World Premiere: Fanfare and Chorale

Thursday 10th May 2012, 1.15pm

Jersey International Music Festival.

Works:  Fanfare and Chorale

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