Remembrance not celebration: a service

By staff writers
11 Nov 2012

Our thanks to Karl Dallas for pointing us towards the excellent Liberation Radio Remembrance Day Service, and BCB broadcast of Benjamin Britten's extraordinary War Requiem. Both can be listened to here: http://realitynow2012.wordpress.com/about/remembrance-not-celebration/

As is well known, Britten's non-liturgical setting of the Requiem Mass poignantly incorporates the poetry of Wilfred Owen, and was explicitly anti-war in intent. The premiere took place on 30 May 1962 in Coventry Cathedral, rebuilt after wartime bombing through a British-German collaboration.

It was performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Meredith Davies, and the Melos Ensemble, conducted by the composer.

There was a profound and appropriate silence between the final notes and the applause at the end.

The Liberation Day Remembrance Service features music by Edwin Starr, Mel Torme, George Shearing, Judy Collins, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Richie Havens, Laurence Binyon, Mahalia Jackson, Graham Kendrick, Lucy Skeaping, SandyO, Sandy Denny, Simon Rattle, Jimi Hendrix and The Weavers.

Readings are from Wilfred Owen, Genesis 22, Mark 14, Rudyard Kipling, Pablo Neruda, Bertholt Brecht and Isaiah 2.

* http://realitynow2012.wordpress.com/about/remembrance-not-celebration/

* 'Remembrance: penitence or pageantry?', by Jill Segger: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17359

* More about white poppies for peace: http://www.ppu.org.uk/whitepoppy/index.html

* Re-imagining Remembrance: a report from Ekklesia - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/research/reimagining_remembrance

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