This Christmas recording by The Washington Chorus was recorded live in concert at the Music Center at Strathmore. It differs from the Chorus' last two Christmas recordings as it was captured in the height of the holiday season with all the energy and warmth of performing in front of a live audience, and indeed there are many tracks where the audience's own participation is audibly recognizable. We invite you to get comfy and sing along!
Recorded live at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and winner of the 1999 Grammy® Award for Best Choral Performance.
The War Requiem was written in 1962 for the consecration of the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral and was first performed there in May 1962. Coventry Cathedral had been destroyed during the Battle of Britain in World War II. The work received immediate critical acclaim and was hailed as a masterpiece.
A life-long pacifist, Britten wrote his Requiem as a statement against the horrors of war. In it, he intersperses the traditional Latin Requiem texts with works by Wilfred Owen, a poet who died in battle in World War I.
As the composer of 11 operas - and indeed, having initially earned his living as a viola-player in a theatre orchestra - it may be said that Dvořák had a well-founded understanding of the dramatic possibilities of the texts he chose to set. The enormous popularity of his works with choral societies throughout Europe further attests to his skill in expressing the meaning of a text in suitably evocative and memorable music.