© 2005 London Philharmonic Orchestra Ltd
℗ 2006 London Philharmonic Orchestra Ltd
Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 8 May 2005
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd
Booklet text in English and German
Total playing time 83:42
Released May 2006

CD: Britten – War Requiem

LPO conducted by Kurt Masur

Benjamin Britten War Requiem

Kurt Masur conductor
Neville Creed conductor (chamber orchestra) and chorus master
Christine Brewer soprano
Anthony Dean Griffey tenor
Gerald Finley baritone
London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir
Boris Garlitsky leader (chamber orchestra)
Pieter Schoeman leader (symphony orchestra)
Tiffin Boys' Choir
Simon Toyne conductor (Tiffin Boys' Choir)   

Benjamin Britten's great artistic statement of pacifism is a modern classic: an unprecedented treatment of the Latin texts of the Requiem set alongside acerbic and often overtly contradictory verse by Wilfred Owen. Captured in a live performance on the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, featuring singers Christine Brewer, Anthony Dean Griffey and Gerald Finley and conducted by known peace activist, the Orchestra's then-Principal Conductor Kurt Masur, this account of Britten's extraordinary masterpiece is indispensable.             

  • £14.99
  • 14.99
2 Audio CDs

Listen First


‘Brewer sings her wide-ranging, swooping phrases from amongst the chorus, like an avenging angel, sometimes tender, sometimes terrifying. Brewer’s soprano is gleaming and powerful, but also rock-steady; she’s able to bring her voice down to a silken thread of sound for the tender ‘Benedictus’ … Finley is superb, his voice rich and full of expressive colour. He strikes the perfect balance between high drama and the understated emotion that is implicit in Britten’s music … Masur balances the pace of the work masterfully and inspires some fabulous playing from the orchestra.’ 
Emma Baker, Classic FM Magazine, July 2006

‘Gerald Finley is magnificent from the first, as compelling musically and emotionally in ‘Bugles Sang’ as in the culminating ‘Strange Meeting’ sequence.’
Stephen Johnson, BBC Music Magazine, July 2006

‘The score’s spare economy, lithe inventiveness, and grateful tonal sweep is superbly brought out.’
Michael Church, The Independent, 10 June 2006

‘An inspired, emotionally charged call for peace.’
Music Week, 3 June 2006

‘The soloists are unignorable. Christine Brewer wails powerfully for her lost son; Anthony Dean Griffey sings with affecting innocence.’
Rick Jones, The Times, 3 June 2006

‘Kurt Masur’s gripping account of Britten’s War Requiem … is well worth the money. Christine Brewer, Anthony Dean Griffey and Gerald Finley make for a monumental vocal trio, backed with conviction by the LPO Chorus and Tiffin Boys’ Choir.’
Kenneth Walton, The Scotsman, 26 May 2006

‘It brings together a fine soprano, Christine Brewer, poignant in the keening of her 'Lacrimosa', and baritone, Gerald Finley, equally eloquent in 'Bugles Sang'. The vocal and orchestral forces are skilfully held together by Masur.’
Barry Millington, Evening Standard Magazine, 19 May 2006

‘An inspired performance, superbly recorded.’
What’s On, 18 May 2006

‘This recording still stands proudly alongside anything in the current catalogues. Masur’s focused, powerfully perceptive reading impresses with its overwhelming sense of structure and purpose, drawing from the score every ounce of anger, bitterness, resignation, tragedy, pathos and ecstasy … Clearly the LPO itself was as much inspired by the occasion as anyone; you hear it in the impeccable precision of the woodwind, the searing brass fanfares and the scintillating string tone.’
Marc Rochester, International Record Review

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