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Peter Lindroth: The Wilfred Owen Songs



I discovered the poetry of Wilfred Owen rather late. At school in Sweden, in the 1950’s and 60’s, one hardly came across any modern poetry, let alone English wartime poetry. Owen came to me through reading Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy. I read novels and poems by Sassoon, Graves, Blunden, Brooke, Rosenberg, Barbusse, Brittain, Woolf and finally – as his poetry was the hardest to find – Wilfred Owen. The poems bowled me over completely. I knew immediately that I had to set this poetry to music. Wilfred Owen wrote his poems 1917–1918. I composed the music 2007–2008. In 2008, on November 11, bass baritone singer John Erik Eleby and pianist Mårten Landström premiered The Wilfred Owen Songs at Teaterstudio Lederman in Stockholm. A live recording from that concert was aired later on Swedish Radio. In 2018, on November 4, a hundred years to the day that Wilfred Owen was killed, John Erik Eleby and pianist Mats Jansson performed the songs in the village church of Ors, France, concluding the 2018 Wilfred Owen commemorations at Ors. [Peter Lindroth]

Peter Lindroth: The Wilfred Owen Songs