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Britten War Requiem

 23 March 2013 at 18.30 

Britten War Requiem

Lucerne Festival

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra | Bavarian Radio Choir (Peter Dijkstra chorus master) | Tölz Boys’ Choir (Ralf Ludewig chorus master) | Mariss Jansons conductor | Emily Magee soprano | Mark Padmore tenor | Christian Gerhaher baritone

On 14 November 1940 the English city of Coventry was bombed by the German Luftwaffe and almost completely destroyed. Among the ruins were those of the famous Gothic cathedral, which had been built around 1400. For the consecration of the newly rebuilt cathedral in May 1962, Benjamin Britten created his large-scale War Requiem, in which he wove the liturgical text together with verses by Wilfred Owen, the British poet who was killed in the First World War at the age of only 25. Britten wrote the solo voice parts for three singers, each of whom represented one of the nations that had been at war: Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, English tenor Peter Pears, and German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Indeed, the idea of reconciliation is at the center of the work: “I am the enemy you killed, my friend,” writes Owen in his poem. To mark the 100th birthday of Britten, Mariss Jansons performs this moving Requiem with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Benjamin Britten : War Requiem

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