© 2019 by Spencer W. McKnight

PROJECTS

Songs of the Great War

In his new recital “Songs of the Great War”, McKnight explores music that came out of one of the defining moments of the 20th century.  Together with pianist Mark Turner, McKnight has spent the last year researching composers, poets, and popular song that was written during the war.  “Many of composers we’re performing were young men conscripted into the war and many died, leaving behind a handful of songs,” said McKnight. “The music is so beautiful that our idea of finding songs from World War I grew into a full concert.”

 

“We discovered a piece by English composer William Denis Browne, a composer we’d never heard of - after researching we’d discovered that he’d died in action in 1915 and that only six songs remain.  At just 26 years old he wasn’t yet a famous composer, but a remarkable young voice who was silenced too early.  If you were an able bodied young man in Britain, you were going to the front no matter whether you were prepared to fight or not.  So we researched music from British, French, American, and German composers and can’t wait to share it with the audience.”

 

The concert features many of the biggest popular songs of the Great War including Keep the Homes Fires Burning, Danny Boy, and K-K-K-Katy written by Canadian Geoffrey O’Hara in 1917.  “O’Hara’s song was the number 1 song the summer of 1918, and when we discovered it was Canadian we had to include it!”

Approximately 90 mins with a short interval

To Gratiana Dancing and Singing - Browne - Spencer McKnight
00:00 / 00:00
On the Idle Hill of Summer - Butterworth - Spencer McKnight
00:00 / 00:00

A Night in Naples

This concert includes all your favourite pieces of Italian music. The great Neapolitan hits like O Sole Mio, Torna a Surriento, Funiculi funicula and many others. It also includes Italian art song and arias. 

Learn all about the Neapolitan song writing competition that was held annually at the Festival Piedigrotta. The first composer to win was Gaetano Donizetti with Te voglio bene assaje. 

Up to 90 mins - can be tailored to any event.

Torna a Surriento - de Curtis - Spencer McKnight
00:00 / 00:00
Ideale - Tosti - Spencer McKnight
00:00 / 00:00