The Poetry is in the pity …
All a poet can do today is warn.’ (Wilfred Owen)
The War Requiem is not just one of Benjamin Britten’s greatest works – it’s one of the very best pieces of music ever composed about war. Written to celebrate the new Coventry Cathedral in the aftermath of its destruction during the Second World War, for this centenary year it will be played on Remembrance Sunday in commemoration of the First.
Britten was a lifelong pacifist, and his requiem refuses to glorify war. By combing the traditional mass for the dead with settings of nine Wilfred Owen poems, he allowed for subtle ironies and incited meditation on the cost of conflict. Though profoundly spiritual and serious in purpose, the War Requiem remains a deeply sensorial experience. It requires huge forces, including a symphony orchestra and a chamber ensemble that weave into each other’s playing in a dazzling display of finesse. Despite this gargantuan scale, it’s also a deeply personal work. Britten dedicated it to four close friends, three of whom died in action.
All ticket proceeds will be donated to Veterans Aid, a charity that helps military veterans in times of crisis. The Royal Choral Society, founded in 1872, has played with Dvorak, Verdi and Gounod. The London Philharmonic Orchestra and the outstanding Trinity Boys Choir will join them under conductor Richard Cooke.
The soloists – which, as Britten desired, come from Britain, Germany and Russia – promise to make performance soar. Lyric soprano Ekaterina Scherbackenko won the BBC Singer of the World Award in 2009. Stephan Rügamer is a regular member of the mighty Berlin Staatsoper, which he joined at the invitation of Daniel Barenboim. And Bryn Terfel, one of the world’s finest bass-baritones, promises to be at his thunderous best. This promises to be a landmark performance of an incomparable piece.
|What||Britten: War Requiem, Royal Albert Hall|
|Where||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP | MAP|
|Nearest tube||South Kensington (underground)|
On 09 Nov 14, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
|Price||£35 - 80|
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Albert Hall|