Episodes

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Ballads Of The Great War - Live20181109Author Michael Morpurgo and a superb cast of singers join the BBC Philharmonic for a special live concert, marking 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Aled Jones, John Tams, Julie Matthews, Bob Fox, Chris While, Jez Lowe and Barry Coope sing outstanding songs composed for the award-winning Radio 2 series, The Ballads of the Great War.

Michael Morpurgo will read passages from his books, War Horse and Private Peaceful, and in combination with the musical performances and vivid testimonies, pay tribute to people whose lives were so greatly affected by the terrible conflict.

The songs, written by some of the UK’s finest folk musicians, are based on recordings of real people describing their experiences in WWI at home and abroad. The songs and the words that inspired them have appeared on Radio 2 every November for the past five years, during The Ballads of the Great War.

The original songs have received stirring new orchestral arrangements by Greg Lawson, and will be interwoven with the poignant spoken testimonies that inspired them. Popular music from the time will also feature, and there will be a guest appearance by world champion whistler David Morris.

During the interval, hear performances by Barbara Dickson and Billy Bragg, and Charlotte Czyzyk from the Imperial War Museum North talks about a project called Lives of the First World War.

Michael Morpurgo and the BBC Philharmonic mark 100 years since the end of World War One.

Music and documentaries marking the centenary of World War One

The Ballad Of The Great War - 19142014111120181017 (R2)The Ballad of the Great War - 1914, featuring stories told by men and women who took part in those first few months of the conflict both at home and abroad. The stories are accompanied by original music written especially for the programme and was inspired by the stories told.

In this programme we hear stories about La Belle Époque, the era of calm before the outbreak of the first world war, the clamour by young men to join the army during August 1914, the London buses which were conscripted into the army to take the troops to the battlefields, the battle of Mons, trench warfare, the bombardment by German battleships of Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool and The Christmas Truce.

The songs for this programme are written by John Tams, Billy Bragg, Julie Matthews, Jez Lowe and Sean Cooney.

This programme, which has been a year in the making, was produced by John Leonard.

The ballad of 1914, featuring stories told by men and women who took part in the conflict.

Music and documentaries marking the centenary of World War One