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War Requiem

Ashkenazy conducts Britten

Power of the voice
Stellar cast
Date Sat 9 Nov Venue Sydney Opera House
Duration 1hr 30mins (no interval)

Benjamin Britten's War Requiem - a call for peace with a multinational cast. Music to make you think.

1961 - the Berlin Wall, Cuba, Vietnam. 1961 - Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in an air raid during World War II, is rebuilt. 1961 - music's most famous pacifist, Benjamin Britten, composes his War Requiem for performance in the new cathedral.

This ambitious and daring music caused an immediate sensation. It combined the traditional words of the Latin Requiem mass with anti-war poems by Wilfred Owen. It drew on huge forces - two choirs, two orchestras and three soloists.

The intended soloists carried symbolic weight: an English tenor and a German baritone ("I am the enemy you killed, my friend") and a Russian soprano. Our cast represents the same mix of nationalities. And while half a century has elapsed, this protest against the horrors of war retains its power to do what Britten hoped: to make us "think a bit".

Pre-concert talk by Natalie Shea at 7.15pm in the Northern Foyer.
War Requiem: Ashkenazy conducts Britten

Audio kindly supplied by Silver Partner Universal Music.


Track 1 - BRITTEN War Requiem: Dies irae
Track 2 - BRITTEN War Requiem: Out there
Track 3 - BRITTEN War Requiem: Lacrimosa
Track 4 - BRITTEN War Requiem: So Abram rose
Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano), Peter Pears (tenor) and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) with the Bach Choir and London Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Melos Ensemble and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Britten
DECCA 414 383 2

Ashkenazy talks about War Requiem
Vladimir Ashkenazy talks about War Requiem

Vladimir Ashkenazy talks about Britten's War Requiem.

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