Preparing to Hear Masterworks: Britten’s War Requiem
Fridays 1:30-3:30 pm
The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra had planned to perform Benjamin Britten’sWar Requiem in May of this year. While that performance was postponed, the War Requiem—one of the monumental compositions for chorus and orchestra of the 20th century—warrants and rewards careful attention. Commissioned to mark the consecration of the restored Coventry Cathedral in 1962, it is a moving anti-war work for full orchestra, chamber orchestra, large choir, boys choir, organ, and three vocal soloists. Its texts include the traditional Latin text from the Requiem Mass and nine poems by Wilfred Owen. We will consider Britten’s treatment of these texts, and his masterful shaping of sound textures to evoke them, as we prepare to hear this singular masterwork.