Richard Cooke conducts Britten's War Requiem
Royal Choral Society
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Trinity Boys Choir
Richard Cooke conductor
Benjamin Britten's War Requiem was composed in 1961 for the consecration of Coventry Cathedral - newly rebuilt following its destruction in the Second World War. Britten took as his inspiration the words of young English war poet, Wilfred Owen, himself killed in action on 4 November 1918, just days before the armistice. The War Requiem profoundly weaves together nine of Owen’s most poignant poems including Anthem for Doomed Youth, Futility and Strange Meeting, with the traditional Latin mass.
A contemporary masterpiece, the War Requiem neither glorifies war nor celebrates its victories; Britten, a pacifist, dedicated the Requiem to four close friends – three of whom were killed during the Second World War.
For the premiere in 1962, Britten nurtured the spirit of reconciliation between former warring nations, deciding that the soloists should come from the three main protagonists – Russia, Germany and Great Britain. In November 2014, to mark the centenary of the First World War, we do the same and present the War Requiem with international soloists of the highest calibre.
This concert will be broadcast on ClassicFM at 8pm on Tuesday 11 November.
Proceeds of ticket sales will go to the Veterans Aid charity.
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