However often Bennett may have employed serial techniques or introduced jazz and modern elements into his work, his Choral compositions are always tonal and melodic. In A Farewell To Arms he displays an exquisite sensitivity to the poetry of Ralph Knevet (17th century) and George Peele (16th century) and their mediations on the homely life after years spent soldiering. The Cello can be heard to serve as the ‘Voice’ of the old soldier. The music combines the jaggedly Romantic Cello line with Choral writing that suggests early music motifs and harmonies.
Composer, performer and arranger Richard Rodney Bennett was internationally respected for his serious music and many award-winning film scores (Murder on the Orient Express, Nicholas and Alexandra) as well as his works for children and his religious pieces. In addition, this markedly versatile musician frequently performed as a jazz pianist.