WAR REQUIEM... an Ode for Peace

 

03.07.2010

With METALQUIMIA's sponsorship, Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona) has launched Benjamin Britten's War Requiem (1962), which is a great «mass for the dead». In it the Latin liturgical texts alternate with poems in English by the soldier, poet and pacifist Wilfred Owen (1893-1918), who died in action a week before the armistice that brought the First World War to an end. Britten, himself a convinced pacifist, chose to write a work of reconciliation, over and above the horrors of war, in order to voice his opposition to all armed conflicts. For that reason he called upon three vocal soloists from different nationalities involved in the war.

Greatly played by soprano Anja Kampe, soloists Ian Bostridge and Peter Mattei, the Orquesta Sinfónica y Coro del Gran Teatre del Liceu, The Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música Catalana and Escolania de Montserrat, the cast and musicians are divided into three groups: the chorus, soprano and main orchestra interpret the liturgical texts in a tone of supplication and repentance; the same texts are given to the chorus of boy sopranos and the organ, who represent life after death; and the male soloists, who embody the victims of the fighting, sing Owen's texts to the accompaniment of a chamber orchestra.

It is an imposing, highly varied and deeply symbolic work and one of the masterpieces of the 20th century, which transforms a mass for the dead in an Ode for Peace.

In the picture Narcís Lagares and Josep Lagares with the soprano Anja Kampe