In Memoriam of The Great War — World War I
Because of recent news widely circulated in the USA regarding Americans who died in The Great War and who are buried in a French cemetery, I asked John Apple to play Gordon Balch Nevin’s “In Memoriam” from 1916. Whether you visit a grave or remember those who died so that you and we might be free, you honor the memory of the dead. Here is what I wrote about Nevin’s piece.
In Memoriam may have been Nevin’s response to the Battle of Verdun which began in February 1916 and produced around 700,000 dead over the year; or perhaps it was his response to the Battle of Jutland which began on May 31 and lasted until the next day but yielded more than 8,600 deaths; or perhaps he was considering “The Great War” as a whole up to that point. He gave this piece the subtitle of “An Elegy for the Organ”; an elegy is a lament for the dead.