DREAMS OF PEACE AND FREEDOM
A SONG CYCLE BY SUE CASSON CHARTING THE JOURNEY OF DAVID MAXWELL FYFE FROM NUREMBERG TO STRASBOURG
which weaves his words with original musical settings of poems that inspired him, is at the heart of each of our tellings.
The song cycle is introduced with a speech by Maxwell Fyfe in which he expresses his fear that the victorious allies were forgetting the lessons of the war that they had fought (NE DIS PAS)
HIS EARLY LIFE
The song cycle explores Maxwell Fyfe’s early life first evoking his romanticism (ALBION), and how that fed his belief in the law of nature (MAGNA CARTA). It then tells, as recorded by Fyfe’s uncle, the story of a family tragedy set during the Clearances of Scotland (HUSH). Finally it sketches Maxwell Fyfe’s progress through his early life (NON SEMPER IMBRES), the two world wars (SERGEANT O’PIKES) until he is appointed a Law Officer to the crown.
As Attorney General he worked with the victorious allies to establish the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (BLOW OUT YOU BUGLES). Out of office he was appointed a leading prosecutor at the trials where he first saturates himself in the evidence of Nazi atrocity and barbarity (THESE HEARTS). Fully prepared, he successfully confronts the Nazis in cross examination (NOW GOD BE THANKED). In the summer of 1946 he considers the lessons of the trials (NON SEMBER IMBRES reprise), and prepares his concluding speech which focuses on the need for the international protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights.
A GLEAM IN ALSACE
Maxwell Fyfe returned to share what he had learnt from his year in Nuremberg in speeches and articles (SAFETY). Churchill asks him to join the Europe Unite movement, and he is keen to champion human rights (THERE ARE WATERS). After five years work and two meetings of the Council of Europe the Convention for the Protection on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is signed (THE INTERNATIONAL MAGNA CARTA).
Maxwell Fyfe’s credo espousing Scottish romanticism and the triumph of the spitual alongside the material concludes the song cycle (ALL SHALL BE WELL).
DREAMS OF PEACE AND FREEDOM: THE HUMAN’S IN THE TELLING
This is a filmed recording of the song cycle, hosted by David Maxwell Fyfe’s great grandchildren, Robert and Lily. They visit each of the centres of the story to place the story into the landscape. Filming was interrupted by the Covid 19 pandemic, preventing a trip to Strasbourg, and enforcing a lockdown at the forest’s edge. During the spring lockdown they were joined by Sue Casson, the composer of the song cycle, walking in the forest and reflecting nature in law and justice, and how vital it is to protect fundamental freedoms and natural rights.
LETTERS, TRANSCRIPTS, BLOGS & TWEETS
Lily and Sue share a scrapbook of Maxwell Fyfe’s letters to his wife Sylvia, and hers to him, exchanged during his time at Nuremberg, as well as transcripts of his speeches and papers. Alongside these are postcards of our social media, shared during our adventure telling and recording the story, with extracts from the song cycles, and in depth blogs.
You can download the scrapbook a month at a time. SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER and NOVEMBER are available now!