Sunday, 3 February 2013

Ivor Gurney, poet of the Severn and the Somme

The Gloucestershire poet Ivor Gurney (1890-1937) was also a composer. This week, one of his hitherto unknown sonatas was released from the  Gloucestershire Archives for the first time. Gurney wrote the Violin Sonata in E-Flat Major on his return from the front in 1918. Gurney's beautiful songs and settings are well-known. Listen to 'Sleep' here.

The South Midlands is a musical land, the birthplace of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, Gustav Holst (Gloucestershire) and Edward Elgar (Worcestershire). It also became famous for its poets after World War I. Some poets, like Gurney and F.W.Harvey, were born here; others, like Edward Thomas, Robert Frost, and Eleanor Farjeon, who identified themselves as the Dymock Poets, were drawn by the special magic of this region. Perhaps the landscape spoke to them in ways that silenced the horrors of war.
The University of Gloucestershire holds the entire Dymock Poets archives and the Edward Thomas collection, among many other things of interest. Be sure to visit.