War & Peace
NEW Sinfonia have been invited by the Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra and Huddersfield Choral Society to perform Britten’s War Requiem in a concert given in partnership with Kirklees Mayor’s Office.
BENJAMIN BRITTEN: WAR REQUIEM
This concert represents a unique opportunity to be part of the commemoration of the centenary of the armistice, given in a joint venture between Kirklees Mayor’s Office and two of the most esteemed and long-enduring musical organisations in Huddersfield – the Philharmonic Orchestra and the Choral Society. NEW Sinfonia will perform alongside these two organisations as well members of the Youth Choirs and three fantastic soloists, all conducted by Robert Guy.
Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem was first performed on 30th May 1962 in the newly-consecrated Coventry Cathedral, which had been destroyed during the Second World War. In this work, composed for a full-blown national occasion of real significance, Britten sets the poems of Wilfred Owen (who he described as “by far our greatest war poet, and one of the most original poets of this century”) in the context of the Latin Mass for the Dead. In doing so, he created three distinct layers of communication; that between the male soloists and the chamber orchestra is the private dialogue; between the soprano, the full orchestra and chorus there is the formal, ritualised expression of mourning and the pleas for deliverance; and the boys’ chorus and organ represents absolute remoteness or lack of communication.
Wilfred Owen died on 4th November 1918, just one week before the signing of the armistice
“I am the enemy you killed, my friend…Let us sleep now”.