During the Great War, Poperinge was part of unoccupied Belgium. Away from the turmoil of battle in the Ypres Salient, the town became the nerve centre of the British sector. In the heart of this bustling town, the Army chaplains Neville Talbot and Philip "Tubby" Clayton opened a club.
From December 1915 onwards, and for more than three years, the House provided rest and recreation to all soldiers coming in, regardless of their rank. Today, as real as then, the place offers a welcoming and friendly stop in Flanders fields.
The 4th of November 2015 was its 100th anniversary: for that occasion Flanders Symphony Orchestra. commissioned Swerts a short piece of 4' utilizing the original harmonium of the House that was used during masses on the attic in the House.
The original harmonium of Talbot House.
The keyboard of a portable harmonium that was taken to the front as well.
In the hall when you go upstairs, against the wall were hanging also four little tuned gongs: playing on them, the Big Ben would sound through E-C-D-G.
The orchestra played a Celebration Concert November 2015 in the Cadogan Hall in London and the first performance of this warm tune.
The composer with beige jacket discussing in the Talbot House with its conservator (right from him) and Dirk Coutigny, former intendant of Flanders Symphony Orchestra, left from him.
The YouTube video is a recording made by the composer during the general rehearsal in the Cadogan Hall.
Full set digitally, score and parts, 38pp
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