Saturday, March 23, 2013

Britten – War Requiem Broadcast from Munich

The radio broadcast of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem is now available at the BR website. Mariss Jansons leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, the Tölzer Boys Choir, soprano Emily Magee, tenor Mark Padmore, and baritone Christian Gerhaher.  

Emily Magee gives a dramatic reading to the Mass texts (check out the Sanctus and Libera me in particular) in concert with the two choirs. And Messers Padmore and Gerhaher take us from light to dark and back to the light again as they share the sometimes poignant, sometimes terrifying, and always emotional Owen texts. Maestro Jansons holds the notoriously-difficult-to-coordinate work together with aplomb.

Be sure to listen to this performance while it's still available. And I think it's worth following the textsNot only to better understand the poetry of Wilfred Owen, but also to catch the way Britten juxtaposes these texts with the Latin Requiem Mass. The logo (above) is a powerful visualization of the music. 

Britten's War Requiem: Love it, like it, or hate it; it's hard to feel neutral about it.

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