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Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem

A lament for our time

By Alexandra Coghlan  

Wagner and Verdi may be headlining this major anniversary year for classical music, but 2013 also marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten. In a clamorous schedule of celebratory events across the country, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s  War Requiem is a standout.

Premiered by the CBSO in the newly-rebuilt Coventry Cathedral some 50 years ago, Britten’s War Requiem paired the ritual text of the Requiem Mass with Wilfred Owen’s sardonic poetry to create a…

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