At the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten, there has been a musical tribute every year since 2006; a classical concert that befits the unique location. This in commemoration of the fallen soldiers who gave their lives in the Second World War for the liberation of the Netherlands, and to celebrate the liberation of the Netherlands in September 1944, which started in the south of Limburg.
The 16th Liberation Concert will take place on Sunday September 19. Because of corona measures, also this year, two identical concerts will be held. The cemetery is closed on Sunday September 19 for non-ticket holders.
The theme of the 16th Liberation concert is “Homage” and builds on the program of the successful 2020 edition of the concert. We will never forget how the lives of thousands of young men and women so suddenly ended in the struggle for our freedom. This year’s program honors their sacrifice and dedication for the liberation of a people they did not even know.
During this year’s Liberation Concert, we will experience the world premiere of the special hymn written by composer Mark Putz in honor of the new Visitor Centre to be. This hymn is an everlasting gift by the Liberation concert foundation and philharmonie zuidnederland to the American Battle Monuments Commission.
Henry Purcell (1659-1695) wrote ‘Funeral Music’ for his beloved Queen Mary in a time which shows similarities with our precent time. In her thirties, Queen Mary became victim of the smallpox epidemic which spread throughout England in 1694. In the bitter cold, her remains were carried to Westminster Abbey. The coffin was accompanied by drummers and a brass section which played the Purcell’s death march by which this Liberation concert is opened.
The Belgian film composer Dirk Brosse (1960) wrote ‘For the unknown soldier’ a modest piece for a string orchestra and harp which seeks to remember those who fell and rest in unknown graves.
The American composer Samuel Barber (1910-1981) absorbed the traditional European music and translated it into his own primal American compositions. In his ‘Knoxville: Summer of 1915’ for soprano and orchestra, the composer looks back to his own childhood and a perfect summer evening in the Southern part of the United States. As a 6-year-old boy, Barber heard the sounds of the carriages, passers-by and a rare automobile on the streets. His thoughts strayed to his beloved relatives. While praying, the child fell asleep by the gentle music.
In his ‘Militaire Symfonie’, Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) is searching, by using percussion and trumpet signals for a military atmosphere. Particularly in the second and fourth part the hellish tumult of war can be vividly heard, swelling from a terrifying start to a heroic highlight.
You are cordially invited to attend the Liberation concert and to enjoy these pieces as they are performed by the philharmonie zuidnederland led by conductor Sander Teepen and soloist Hannah Morrison.