Live in Concert 30 May - Britten's War Requiem
Flagging this one up early: Next Wednesday is the 50th Anniversary of the first performance of the War Requiem in Coventry Cathedral. This will be marked by a commemorative performance, same orchestra (CBSO), same place.
Erin Wall (soprano)
Mark Padmore (tenor)
Hanno Müller-Brachmann (baritone)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
City of Birmingham Symphony Youth Chorus
Andris Nelsons (conductor
But not, alas, the same soloists, though I'm sure these singers will be fine. This makes me feel old! I remember the fuss about the original performance and recording so well, and visiting the new cathedral at around that time.
Originally Posted by french frank
At the moment I'm reading Michael Foster's recent book The Idea Was Good, the story of Britten's War Requiem. I bought it from Amazon, but it's also available from Coventry Cathedral.
Coincidently I too purchased Michael Foster's book recently and am currently reading it with interest. I was not fully aware of the situation surrounding the ' The Beatitudes ' by Arthur Bliss at the time of the consecration. It is good to know that this work will, I understand, finally be performed in the Cathedral this coming September, the setting for which it was intended / composed.
Originally Posted by Mary Chambers
Many thanks for alerting me to Michael Foster's book, Mary Chambers - it's on my list now
I hope to listen to the Britten tomorrow and shall attempt to record it too. A great work after a rather sad afternoon for most of us.
The CBSO advised today:
"We have some very exciting news about tomorrow's sold out 50th Anniversary performance of Britten's War Requiem in Coventry. We may not have any seats left Coventry Cathedral but, thanks to our media partners, we'll be bringing you the concert straight to your TV’s, radios and computers wherever you are...
In the UK you can:
Watch live on @The Space [my insert - go to www.thespace.org]
Listen live on BBC Radio 3
Worldwide, Unitel Classica network will follow the performance live and ZDF/arte will stream the performance to Germany and France.
Furthermore, the concert will be recorded for television and DVD by Unitel Classica in co-production with ZDF/arte and NHK and with support from Arts Council England. Please visit www.unitelclassica.com
for information on the DVD release."
Thank you, Osborn. I knew about the streaming, but I didn't know there was going to be a DVD. It's rather difficult to find out from the Unitel Classica website how to buy the DVDs, but it's good to know there will be one.
I'm currently listening to Britten's own recording. I wonder whether anyone listened to the Sunday Feature ? - "Phoenix Rising - The Story of Coventry Cathedral"
It is still available on listen again. I found it a fascinating listen - Britten finding the rehearsals and the acoustic not to his liking - "the idea was good" anecdote and a lovely sound clip of Britten exhorting the "dear hearts" in rehearsal to essentially get a grip :-) John Piper, Basil Spence (obviously ) are there too - a clanger that suggests the Cuban Missile Crisis happened before War Requiem was composed / performed - but also interestingly and movingly an exploration of how Coventry strives to maintain links to Berlin and Dresden to this day - to underline the importance and relevance to the present day of compassion and reconciliation. A very interesting interview with the precentor of the Cathedral - an Ulsterman - about how painful that process can be. Also I never knew that Tippett's King Priam was premiered in Coventry on May 29th 1962.
Here I hope is the link http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tnwp
I am looking forward to the performance tonight - although the 7 hour time difference between the UK and China means that I won't be listening until May 31st at the very least ;-)
Many thanks! What a nutritious aperitif to this evening's main course, about which I am beyond excitement! I listened enthralled as thunder rumbled in the far distance. I was fascinated to hear they used snippets of Howells' Coventry Antiphon as background in one section - a fine piece and a 60's commission from the new cathedral's first DOM. The sound clip of Britten speaking to the chorus is from the Decca recording sessions (recently released for the remastering of the original recording) which used the LSO chorus, with pro augmentation, I believe, so concerned was BB that it would not go well. I now understand why, thanks to this programme. That re-release is well worth a listen, especially for the composer's insights into his own work - quite rare! - and recorded by John Culshaw (?) without Britten's permission!
Originally Posted by Tevot
PS - Little did I know that that thunderstorm has unplugged this afternoon's New College Evensong!!
Yes, recorded by John Culshaw, made into a record (no. BB50) and given to Britten as a supposedly nice surprise for his 50th birthday. Unfortunately it completely misfired and Britten was not at all pleased. The record was found after his death (I think), and after a respectful wait of about thirty years it was decided it was safe to let the public hear it. It's fascinating stuff, especially for those of us who've been lucky enough to sing it.
Originally Posted by Simon Biazeck
Incidentally, the photo on page 81 in Michael Foster's book, labelled as Culshaw, Britten and Pears during the recording sessions of War Requiem, was I am fairly certain taken during the recording of Midsummer Night's Dream - at least it's in the booklet issued with the original LP of MND as one of several informal photos taken at the time.