War Requiem (2010)

Britten

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic

Jaap van Zweden

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,
Netherlands Radio Choir & Netherlands Children’s Choir
Jaap van Zweden
Reinbert de Leeuw
Conductor Netherlands Radio Choir: Celso Antunes
Conductor Netherlands Children’s Choir: Wilma ten Wolde
Evelina Dobracheva soprano
Anthony Dean Griffey tenor
Mark Stone baritone

Britten - War Requiem
During the late 14th and early 15th centuries, a church dedicated to the Archangel Michael was erected in Coventry. In 1918, it was designated a cathedral. The
cathedral was almost entirely destroyed during a German air raid in 1940, with only the outer walls, bell tower and tomb of the first bishop remaining intact. These were
preserved as a memorial. In the 1950s, the decision was made to incorporate the ruins in a new building. The first stone was laid by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956 and the new cathedral opened on May 25, 1962. Five days later, it was musically inaugurated with Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, in a performance broadcast live by the BBC.
At the time, Britten was probably the only British composer able to strike a collective chord with his countrymen – even though in his operas, he always sided with eccentrics and outcasts. As a pacifist and homosexual, he had been personally familiar with the conflict between the individual and establishment since the 1930s. Yet Britten was not a political activist, for he was decidedly a member of a generation that held its peace when confronted with the dark aspects of community, family or the military. Artistically, however, Britten was an activist, as witness his antithetical heroes: Peter Grimes, Albert Herring, Billy Budd and Owen Wingrave. At times, his political message was so encoded that it seemed like a message in a bottle for a better future.
Britten’s political consciousness embedded a number of these hidden messages in the War Requiem in a way that only like minds would recognize themselves as
being addressed. Take for instance the soloists he had in mind for the premiere of the War Requiem. To the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, he confided that he
wanted to bring together three soloists here as representatives of the countries that had suffered most in the war. Britten was thinking of an Englishman (the tenor
Peter Pears), a German (the baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau) and a Russian (Vishnevskaya). The soloist group in no way reflected the Allied forces. On the contrary,
they were former enemies that came to stand before an imaginary reconciliation committee. Take for instance the last movement, Libera me, in which a fallen
British soldier talks with a German soldier he has killed. Such understanding between enemies was bound to lead to problems. The Soviet authorities thought it was
inappropriate for Vishnevskaya to perform under such circumstances with a German and an Englishman. The combination of “‘Cathedral’ & Reconciliation with W. Germany” (as Britten called it) went too far. A replacement had to be found, and Heather Harper had but 10 days to learn the part.

 

 

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Netherlands Radio Philharmonic

As one of the flagship orchestras for the Dutch Broadcasting Authority, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic occupies a prominent place in two series at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Saturday Matinee and the Sunday Morning Concerts as well as the Friday Vredenburg series in Utrecht. All concerts are broadcast live on the Dutch national station, Radio 4 and through the international European Broadcasting Union connection. 
A leading light on the Dutch musical firmament, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra guarantees adventurous symphonic programming, high quality performance and a plethora of concertante opera performances. World premieres and Dutch premieres of works by among others Koechlin, Martin, Franssens, Koolmees, Padding, Francesconi, Janácek, De Raaff, Oetsvolskaja, Vriend and Rijnvos were praised by critics and audience.
 The orchestra’s discography is impressive and includes the complete Mahler Symphonies and orchestral works by Rachmaninoff under the direction of Edo de Waart. Ongoing recording projects include a Bruckner-cycle under the direction of Jaap van Zweden (Exton label) and the complete Shostakovich symphonies led by the British conductor Mark Wigglesworth (Bis label). Wagner’s LohengrinDie Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Parsifal, performed by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Choir and vocal soloists under the direction of Jaap van Zweden, were recorded for QuattroLive and Challenge Records and met with great critical acclaim. QuattroLive is the cd label of Radio 4, the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Center, Radio Netherlands Worldwide and the broadcasters NTR, AVRO and TROS. 

Jaap van Zweden

Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden has risen rapidly in little more than a decade to become one of today’s most sought-after conductors. He has been Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and in September 2012 he took up the position of Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Appointed at nineteen as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he began his conducting career in 1995 and held the positions of Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (1996-2000), Chief Conductor of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague (2000-2005), and Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (2008-2011) and Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Radio Chamber Orchestras from 2005-2011(he remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra). In November 2011 van Zweden was named as the recipient of Musical America's Conductor of the Year Award 2012 in recognition of his critically acclaimed work as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and as a guest conductor with the most prestigious US orchestras.

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War Requiem (2010)

Britten

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic

    Music Web International

There is so much to admire in this recording

    BBC Music Magazine

van Zweden is calm, purposeful, unexaggerated

    BBC Music Magazine

impressive recording

    Luister

Samenvattend lijkt dit vooral een integer souvenir voor diegenen die in de zaal aanwezig waren. Als bonus krijgt die dan een helder, Nederlandstalig verhaal mee over Brittens concept en de curieuze perikelen rondom de wereldpremière in 1962. All things put together, this album seems an integer souvenir for the ones who were present at the concert. As a bonus, one gets a clear, Dutch story with that about Brittens concept and the curious perils around the world premiere in 1962.

René Segers

    Mania Klassiek

Van Zweden weet vanaf het begin de dreigende sfeer moeiteloos op te bouwen en een sublieme live uitvoering neer te zetten. Deze uitvoering kan zich absoluut meten met de opname die Britten in 1963 van het War Requiem maakte. Van Zweden knows how to build up the threatening atmosphere easily from the beginning and performs a sublime live performance. This interpretation can be measured absolutely to the recording Britten made of his War Requiem in 1963.

Wil Zenhorst

    De Gelderlander

Een monumentale dodenmis die bekend zou worden als het War Requiem. […] In 2012 dirigeerde Jaap van Zweden een veel geroemde uitvoering met het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, het Groot Omroepkoor en het Nationaal Kinderkoor. A monumental requiem which would become known as the War Requiem. […] In 2012 Jaap van Zweden conducted a much praised performance with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Choir and the National Children's Choir.

Hans Visser

War Requiem (2010)

Britten

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic

Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Producer: Gerard Westerdaal
Recording Engineer: Gert Altena, Frank van Kleef
Recording location: Vredenburg Utrecht Holland
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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CC72388: War Requiem
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Tracks.
1.
War Requiem op. 66 - Requiem aeternam (Introitus and Kyrie)
Britten
00:09:47   Select quality & channels above
2.
War Requiem op. 66 - Dies irae
Britten
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3.
War Requiem op. 66 - Offertorium
Britten
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4.
War Requiem op. 66 - Sanctus
Britten
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5.
War Requiem op. 66 - Agnus Dei
Britten
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6.
War Requiem op. 66 - Libera me
Britten
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