This Veterans Day weekend, the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be performing Benjamin Britten‘s War Requiem, first played in 1962 at the opening of Coventry Cathedral, rebuilt after being destroyed in World War II. In Sunday’s Boston Globe Jeremy Eichler suggests that “works such as Schoenberg’s ‘A Survivor From Warsaw,’ Reich’s “Different Trains,” and Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ have played an under-appreciated role as vehicles of both individual and collective memory, as monuments oftentimes far more effective than the ones we might pass on the street every day.”
Britten’s piece “interweaves a setting of the Latin Mass for the dead with the poetry of Wilfred Owen, the brilliant young British poet who fought (and died) in the First World War.” You can hear it performed by the BSO and chorus live this weekend on WCRB Classical Radio, streaming or via the radio. You can also listen to it any time through McQuade’s NAXOS Music Library.
Steve Reich‘s “Different Trains” is a three-movement piece for string quartet and tape. The 1989 Grammy Award recording by the Kronos Quartet can also be heard via NAXOS along with Arnold Schoenberg‘s “A Survivor in Warsaw.”