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11-10-12, 05:38 PM #1
93-year-old WWII vet finally hears symphony he wrote in 1945 played by US Army BandIn 1945, Harold “Van” Van Heuvelen was in New Orleans waiting for his orders that would have shipped him to Japan as World War II neared a climax.Because of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Van Heuvelen’s orders never came through.The former Bismarck Public School music department chairman and teacher had some time on his hands — so he wrote a symphony — a symphony that Sunday will be performed for the first time, 67 years later.
He said the work had sat on a shelf until his wife died in 2003. His sons were helping him clean out some things at his Montana home when they discovered the bound copy of the original score.Through a couple chance meetings with Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the the Senate Armed Services committee, Bob Van Heuvelen was able to discuss his father’s composition.After hearing the symphony, Levin requested the U.S. Army Band consider performing it and in May, the band agreed.Now 93, Harold Van Heuvelen said when he first heard the digitized version of his symphony, “It wasn’t very refined, but I loved it. The thing that made me the happiest was my two sons loved it.”
He said he’s both nervous and excited to hear it live. The first movement relates to the worldwide build-up to the war. “It was a sad, sad period,” he said.The second movement relays the hustle and bustle in America as the nation ramped up to being drawn into the conflict.The third movement is the war itself, something that has personal significance for Van Heuvelen. His brother was in the force that landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day.“He survived ... there were a lot of prayers.”The fourth movement, his favorite, conveys “glorious peace. I have a lot of beautiful music in that movement ... it’s my favorite part.”
11-11-12, 09:13 PM #2
It's quite a lovely symphony:
11-12-12, 08:55 AM #3
I'd like to listen to it in full.
I've certainly heard worse on Radio 3. The plan for the symphony was solid in concept and the snippets were melodic, if brief.
Originally Posted by William Pitt (the Younger), Speech in the House of Commons (18 November, 1783)
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