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3rd October 2018
Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem was composed in 1961 for the consecration of Coventry Cathedral – newly rebuilt following its destruction in the Second World War. Britten took as his inspiration the words of young English war poet, Wilfred Owen, himself killed in action on 4 November 1918, just days before the armistice. The War Requiem profoundly weaves together nine of Owen’s most poignant poems including Anthem for Doomed Youth, Futility and Strange Meeting, with the traditional Latin mass.
A contemporary masterpiece, the War Requiem neither glorifies war nor celebrates its victories; Britten, a pacifist, dedicated the Requiem to four close friends – three of whom were killed during the Second World War.