Today's Classical Music Video

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rattle and the BPO Play Britten's War Requiem



November 22 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten. During his lifetime Britten was recognized as one of the foremost composers of the Twentieth Century. Since his death his reputation has grown even more. The operas are performed regularly in most of the world's leading opera houses and his vocal music is often heard in recitals and in churches.

Britten developed a style that was contemporary but never academic. He had a great lyrical gift and a talent for expressing the meaning of words through music.

In this 100th anniversary year his music is being celebrated throughout the world. For example, the Pushkin State Museum in Moscow is presenting an exhibition called "Britten's Artistic World," drawing on material supplied by the Britten-Pears Foundation (BPF).

The BPF is now located in the Red House, the place in Aldeburgh, England where Britten and Peter Pears lived for many years.

Closer to home, the Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario has organized a 9-day Britten Festival under the direction of longtime Britten exponent Stephen Ralls.

For more on the Britten tributes this year visit the website www.britten100.org.

This week's video includes an excerpt from Britten's War Requiem conducted by Simon Rattle with the Berlin Philharmonic.


Paul E. Robinson

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