War poet's words to be set to music

Five pieces by a Scottish war poet are to be set to music by a renowned composer.

The poems by Charles Hamilton Sorley will be interpreted by Sir James MacMillan to mark the centenary of the World War One Armistice.

"All the Hills and Vales Along" features five of the Aberdeen-born soldier's works.

Among them is "When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead", a work which was discovered in his kit bag after his death on the Western Front on October 13 1915, aged 20.

Sir James MacMillan (Robin Mitchell)
Sir James MacMillan (Robin Mitchell)

Sir James said: "Years ago I was given a book of Poems of the First World War, edited by Martin Stephen, and I immediately turned to the ones by Owen, Sassoon and Graves.

"However, I was also directed towards a beautiful poem 'All the Hills and Vales Along' by CH Sorley and I made a mental note of this at the time.

"I returned to it years later, along with others by him in the book, which are now set in the new oratorio."

Sorley began publishing poetry in his school's journal and won a scholarship to University College, Oxford.

He was in Germany in 1914 when World War One broke out and was interned for one night in prison at Trier.

Making his way back to England, he enlisted in the Army and served in the trenches in France.

Sorley was killed in the Battle of Loos at the age of 20.

"All the Hills and Vales Along" was co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and the London Symphony Orchestra.

It will have its World Premiere at the fifth Cumnock Tryst festival on Saturday, October 6.

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS