Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem — Remembering Coventry

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 13 November, 2010

Today on Radio Riel’s Main Stream, we’re remembering the night, 70 years ago tomorrow – 14th November 1940 – when the city of Coventry, in the heart of Britain, was devastated by an air raid.

The 14th century cathedral was destroyed, leaving only the shell and the spire. A new cathedral was constructed next to it, and consecrated on 30 May 1962. Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem was commissioned for the consecration.

Since that terrible night in 1940 (see separate article), the city of Coventry has been rebuilt around its new and old Cathedrals – which have become the centre of an international movement of reconciliation. Today’s programming on Radio Riel is dedicated to the people and city of Coventry, to the memory of those who lost their lives, and to the victims of war all over the world, with the hope that all nations may find peace and reconciliation.

At 9pm UK time, 1pm Pacific, we are playing the original Decca recording of Britten’s War Requiem Op.66, with many of the same artists as were present for the first performance in 1962: Galina Vishnevskaya, Peter Pears, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, The Bach Choir, and London Symphony Chorus. The work is conducted by the composer. (At the same time, a live performance of this work is taking place at the Cathedral.)

You can learn more about the Requiem in this Wikipedia article, and this piece on the Britten-Pears Foundation web site.
If you enjoy this recording, you can obtain it from here and from other sources.

The Requiem will be broadcast on Radio Riel’s Main Stream. Tune in at


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: