Benjamin Britten: War Requiem
Benjamin Britten's work, interspersing elements of the traditional Latin mass with settings of poems by Wilfred Owen, is one of the most beautiful and heart-rending works of the 20th century, performed this evening by Lorin Maazel and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Although titled as a Requiem, Benjamin Britten's work intersperses elements of the traditional Latin mass with settings of poems by Wilfred Owen. This juxtaposition emphasises the tragic loss of life during the First and Second World Wars (the work was composed in 1961-62), and Britten makes the contrasts all the more apparent through his emotional music and use of separate instrumental groups, who only join together in full force towards the end of the last movement as the tenor and baritone soloists sing 'Let us sleep now' whilst the choruses sing 'Into Paradise lead them'. This is truly one of the defining works of the 20th century.
Royal Festival Hall at 6pm - Pre-concert talk. An introduction to the evening's concert. Free.Performers
Lorin Maazel conductor
Nancy Gustafson soprano
Mark Padmore tenor
Matthias Goerne baritone
Tiffin Boys' Choir