Music: Soldier's Lament

Just before the King's Royal Rifle Corps embarked for North Africa in June 1942, Lieut. Michael Heming went to John Barbirolli, onetime conductor of New York's Philharmonic-Symphony, with a postdated request. Barbirolli knew of Heming's work at London's Royal College of Music, readily promised to give the only son of opera singer Percy Heming a postwar chance to learn conducting.

In the troopship going out, Michael Heming scribbled melodies, started to outline a score for a threnody on war. He did more work during the blazing African summer, by autumn had a pocketful of penciled notes. The day before the tide turned...

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