The Cool Web
A Robert Graves Oratorio
Merton Music Foundation Young Voices
Robin O’Neill, conductor
Edward Grint, baritone
A uniquely moving work using the poems Robert Graves (author of the definitive WW1 autobiography Goodbye to All That) wrote as a young soldier to trace his journey from the peace of an English school to the Somme and back.
Music and libretto combine to chart the tension between words and experience; the journey from innocence through anticipation, camaraderie, incoherent horror and madness, to the final resolution and an attempt to find peace through poetry. The subject matter is intensely challenging but as powerful now, and as relevant to humanity, as it was 100 years ago.