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Four Esteemed Musical Organizations Come Together To Perform Benjamin Britten's War Requiem

Landmark Concerts in Boston and Providence Cathedrals feature Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with NEW ENGLAND PHILHARMONIC, CHORUS PRO MUSICA, PROVIDENCE SINGERS and BOSTON CHILDREN’S CHORUS Saturday, March 3 and Sunday March 4

 
 
Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross
Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross
PRLog - Feb. 14, 2012 - BOSTON -- Boston, MA and Providence, RI--Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem will be performed in grand style featuring more than 300 orchestral musicians and singers, conducted by Richard Pittman on Saturday, March 3 at 8:00 pm, at Boston’s neo-Gothic, 2000 seat Cathedral of the Holy Cross and again on Sunday, March 4 at 3:30 pm at Providence’s Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.  The New England Philharmonic under the direction of Music Director Richard Pittman, Chorus pro Musica and Providence Singers, both under the direction of Dr. Betsy Burleigh and the Boston Children’s Chorus, under the direction of Anthony Trecek-King join hands to present Benjamin Britten’s historic Requiem, one of the greatest compositions of the 20th century and one of the most profound statements of a pacifist point of view in all of classical music.  Soloists performing in both performances include soprano Sarah Pelletier, tenor Frank Kelley and baritone Sumner Thompson.  

Coming together in a homage to peace, all four musical organizations wish to honor the end of the nine year Iraq War on December 15, 2011.

The New England Philharmonic created the monumental plan for these concerts as acknowledgement of its thirty-five years of presenting exhilarating concerts in Greater Boston.  The New England Philharmonic is the presenting organization for the Boston concert March 3 and the Providence Singers is the presenting organization for the Providence concert on March 4.  

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross is located at 1400 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118.  General admission tickets priced at at $35; [$20 for students] to the Boston concert Saturday, March 3 at 8:00 pm can be purchased on line at: www.nephilharmonic.org.  Tickets are also expected to be available at the door.  For more information about the Boston concert, call Chorus pro Musica at 800-658-4276.  

The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is located at 30 Fenner Street, [Weybosset and Fenner Streets] Providence, RI 02903.  Tickets priced at $32; [Free for students with IDs at the door] to the Providence concert Sunday, March 4 at 3:30 pm can be purchased at www.providencesingers.org.  Tickets are also expected to be available at the door.  For more information, call:  401-751-5700.

The War Requiem is a large-scale work, scored for soprano, tenor, and baritone soloists, chorus, boys choir, orchestra, chamber orchestra and organ.  Written for a commemoration of World War II—the re-consecration in 1962 of the bombed Coventry Cathedral—its roots lie deep in World War I, the horrible "war to end all wars."  The text intersperses the timeless words of the Latin Mass for the Dead with the poetry of Wilfred Owen, a World War I British soldier who was killed a week before the Armistice.

The 1930s in Britain was not an easy time or place for a committed pacifist.  Germany was arming; peace seemed an unlikely proposition.  Yet Benjamin Britten’s abhorrence of violence was deeply seated and of long standing.  He sought conscientious objector status in 1942, then continued “the work I’m most qualified to do” — composing, performing, and, at war’s end, mounting concerts with Yehudi Menuhin at the liberated Bergen–Belsen concentration camp.  As England’s premier composer, Britten was commissioned to write a requiem for the Coventry Cathedral reconsecration in May 1962.  His treatment of war, tempered by the poetry of Wilfred Owen, two world wars, and the Cold War gloom of nuclear arms, was not celebratory.  “When you hear Britten’s music — if you really hear it, not just listen to it superficially,” said Leonard Bernstein, “you become aware of something very dark.  There are gears that are grinding and not quite meshing.  And they make a great pain.  It was a difficult and lonely time.”

When the War Requiem was premiered in the United States in 1963, it featured Chorus pro Musica performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, at Tanglewood, under the direction of Eric Leinsdorf.  Soloists included Phyllis Curtin, Nicholas De Virgilio, Tom Krause and the Columbus Boychoir.  A DVD of the 1963 concert is available on Video Artists International (VAI DVD 4429).

Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross,
1400 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, op. 66

Concert Presented by New England Philharmonic,
Richard Pittman, conductor
with Chorus pro Musica
Providence Singers
Boston Children's Chorus

Soprano Sarah Pelletier
Tenor Frank Kelley
Baritone Sumner Thompson
Tickets: $35; $20 students  
www.nephilharmonic.org

Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm
Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul,
30 Fenner Street [Weybosset & Fenner Streets]
Providence, RI 02903
Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, op. 66

Concert Presented by Providence Singers
New England Philharmonic, Richard Pittman, conductor
with Chorus pro Musica
Providence Singers
Boston Children's Chorus

Soprano Sarah Pelletier
Tenor Frank Kelley
Baritone Sumner Thompson
Tickets: $32; students free with ID  
www.providencesingers.org

# # #

Sue Auclair Promotions is a full service public relations and publicity firm located in the Boston area and specializing in music, the arts and entertainment . For more information, check us out on the web at http://www.sueauclair.com

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