A CHALLENGE OF HONOUR: ORADOUR SUR GLANE
10": Divine Comedy DC-029 [2004]


Le 10 Juin 1944 Le Matin
L'arrivée Des Allemands

Le Village
Dans L'église
Le 10 Juin 1944 Le Soir

This recording is the third and ultimately last of A Challenge of Honour's 'Trilogy of Human Madness' and as with the previous two of the trilogy, it concerns dehumanizing events from the World War II, this time in particular the massacre at Oradour-Sur-Glane. For those not aware, it involved the Waffen SS of Germany who on the 10 June 1944 arrived in the morning at Oradour-Sur-Glane in France, surrounded the village and proceeded to slaughter everyone. Men were killed after being corralled throughout the city and the women and children placed in the church which was then blown up. Out of the 642 murdered only a smattering were later identified as the troops burned the village and the bodies. As expected, this is an emotive journey from morning to night on that fateful day.

Solemn is the prelude to the arrival of the Waffen SS, a solitary lonely drum marks out time in the predawn. A dirge bellows underneath the percussive echoes, filtering light caresses sad and quiet chords of an organ that explores the twilight to usher forth the dark day. Acoustic guitar arpeggios loom from out of the darkness, brief as the fading stars. Stronger and stronger grow the beats of 'Le 10 Juin 1944 Le Matin' as the morning wakes for its last time the inhabitants of Oradour-Sur-Glane. Without doubt, this day will be an horrorific one.

'L'arrivée Des Allemands', the arrival of the Germans, leaves no doubt of the frenetic terror that must have gripped the city as the Waffen SS arrived in the afternoon. Industrial winds surround the city, dissonant piano strikes a terrifying rhythmic pattern over which further discord strikes, military bass beats over the hearts of the common folk as they are hoarded while snare drum erupts a staccato of death upon the men of the village. Chorals voice brief moments not occluded by the rhythm and further yawning destruction and clamour but there is no escape, not for anyone.

Accordian yaws and crisp piano descends and glass whistles a lament in 'Le Village', now empty of life save the huddled women and children pressed into the church. 'Dans L'église' leads with the church organ trying to drown out the marching drums growing ever closer to the last sanctuary of life in the village. The pace of the music is tense and relentless. Salvation does not come for the congregation as explosions erupt as the German‚s do their best to destroy the church with explosives killing all inside.

Finally, conclusion comes and a rest of sorts as well as darkness descends upon the village. Shimmering pads drift on the smoke from the flames of the village, less torment to such a conflagration now all are dead. Strummed acoustic chords darken even this last release leaving the listener with the horror of what has occurred.

NYR

[A Challenge of Honour] / [Divine Comedy]

Direct Link: http://www.auralpressure.com/review/a/acoh_oradour_sur_glane.html

Other Reviews:

A Challenge Of Honour: [Monuments]

A Challenge Of Honour: [Seven Samurai]
A Challenge Of Honour: [Wilhelm Gustloff]
Un Défi D'Honneur: [Le Mort Homme]

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