ILONA DOMICH Soprano
GWILYM BOWEN Tenor
LAWRENCE WHITE Bass
KERRY BEAUMONT Organ
Coventry Cathedral Chorus
Coventry Cathedral Choristers
Brighton Festival Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Britten’s War Requiem is Coventry Cathedral’s signature work. Commissioned for the opening of the newly consecrated Cathedral in 1962, the piece received its world première in May 1962 conducted by the composer and Meredith Davies as part of the 1962 Coventry Festival.
It immediately stood out amongst twentieth century compositions, entering the international repertoire as a huge and challenging work for performers and audience alike. Since then, this iconic work has been performed all over the world but is still uniquely linked with Coventry Cathedral, our stand against war and violence, and our plea for humanity to come to its senses and find another way to resolve conflict.
As the audience listens to the massive choral and orchestra movements of the mass, interspersed with poignant words by soldier-poet Wilfred Owen, sung by the tenor and bass soloists, views of the destroyed old Cathedral are the backdrop completing this unique audience experience.
Performances of the War Requiem are always memorable events, and the opportunity to hear it in the building for which it was created, on the anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, is rare indeed.