Remember me - echoes from the lost generations
Mark Anthony Turnage

Mark-Anthony Turnage is a contemporary composer who successfully fuses the music of the concert hall with improvisatory jazz. His music reflects his sharp awareness of the world around him - the arts, politics and everyday life, including football. He is an avid Arsenal supporter!

A number of his works reflect his abiding interest in the First World War and its aftermath.


Silent Cities

'Silent Cities', was inspired by a visit to the cemeteries on the Somme and named after the writer Rudyard Kipling's description of that same place. This work is dedicated to the memory of Sir Michael Tippett.

Mark - Anthony Turnage

The Torn Fields

'The Torn Fields' is a song-cycle for baritone soloist and ensemble, settings of First World War poetry and prose by Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Charles Sorley, Siegfried Sassoon, and Rudyard Kipling.

Owen, Rosenberg and Sorley were killed in action and are commemorated by the CWGC.
Find out more about them in the pop up CWGC book 'Poets of the Great War.'

Nearly 50 at the start of the First World War, Kipling himself did not fight but his son John was killed in 1915, at the Battle of Loos. He was only 18. Kipling's lament for his dead son can be found in 'The Torn Fields'

'My son was killed laughing at some jest. I would I knew what it was, And it might serve me when jests are few.'

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Silver Tassie

'The Silver Tassie' is an opera created from the play of the same name by Irish writer Sean O'Casey. Young Harry Heegan, just before returning to fight on the Western Front in 1915, wins a football cup (The Silver Tassie) and the adoration of his girlfriend. In France he is seriously wounded, which leaves him paralysed below the waist. Back home, his girlfriend takes up with his best friend instead and Harry's joy and optimism is replaced by bitterness and despair.

You may like to compare the story of Harry Heegan with that of the protagonist in the poem 'Disabled' by Wilfred Owen. Both are healthy, sporting young men whose war injuries leave them crippled, not only in body, but also socially, and in spirit.


Your Turn!


Listen to some of Mark-Anthony Turnage's work.


Choose a poem from the First World War and set it to music.

print page Close