Britten: War Requiem

  • Catalogue Number LSO0719
    UPC 822231171928

    James Mallinson producer
    Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineers

    Recorded live at the Barbican, October 2011

    DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
    Notes in English / en français / auf Deutsch

  • Musical Toronto’s Best International Album of the Year 2012
    'Conductor Gianandrea Noseda, the London Symphony and powerful singers came together for a concert at London’s Barbican last year that knocked my emotional socks off. This is a message — and music — that will never grow stale.’

    The Sunday Times’ CD of the Week
    ‘Noseda proves to be more than a worthy substitute [for Sir Colin Davis], easily encompassing the dramatic scale of the work … Ian Bostridge’s tenor is as individual and idiosyncratic as Pears’s.’

    ***** 'The LSO and its chorus are on cracking form, and the soloists are as good as you will get ... Sabina Cvilak sings with a freshness and edge that makes you sit up [and] Noseda’s dramatic, pulsating account represents another landmark.'
    Financial Times

    ***** ‘All of the forces, including the star-studded soloists are excellent, and this 50th-anniversary release of the premiere performance is memorable indeed.’
    Audiophile Audition

    'Noseda's judgement of pace is unerring, and the orchestra and chorus simply superb.'
    BBC Music Magazine

    ‘[Noseda’s] understanding of the relationship between ritual devotion and political anger in Britten's great pacifist statement is marvellously acute …The choral singing is fervent and intense, the playing fierce and sensitive by turns. Sabina Cvilak is thrilling.’
    The Guardian

    ‘The LSO and the London Symphony Chorus are the performance’s rock: they start on top form and stay that way. Another essential recording.’
    The Times

    ‘A deeply moving account of this thought-provoking piece.’
    Presto Classical

    ‘Mr. Noseda … boldly draws out the score’s operatic elements, as in his stunning account of the fitful Dies Irae, while vividly conveying its overall organic structure.’
    New York Times

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Gianandrea Noseda
London Symphony Orchestra


Premiered in 1962, the War Requiem is one of the twentieth century's defining works. Britten was commissioned to write it for the re-dedication of Coventry Cathedral, which was destroyed during the Second World War. Interspersing the Latin mass of the dead with texts by war poet Wilfred Owen he created a work that both mourned the dead and pleaded the futility of war.


Composer   Britten
Conductor   Gianandrea Noseda
Performers   The Choir of Eltham College (Trebles), London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra
Soloists   Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, Sabina Cvilak

Track list
Disc 1
1. War Requiem: i. Requiem Aeternam - Requiem aeternam
2. War Requiem: ii. Requiem Aeternam - Te decet hymnus
3. War Requiem: iii. Requiem Aeternam - “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?”
4. War Requiem: iv. Requiem Aeternam - Kyrie eleison
5. War Requiem: v. Dies Irae - Dies irae
6. War Requiem: vi. Dies Irae - “Bugles sang, saddening the evening air”
7. War Requiem: vii. Dies Irae - Liber scriptus
8. War Requiem: viii. Dies Irae - “Out there, we’ve walked quite friendly up to Death”
9. War Requiem: ix. Dies Irae - Recordare Iesu pie
10. War Requiem: x. Dies Irae - Confutatis maledictis
11. War Requiem: xi. Dies Irae - “Be slowly lifted up, thou long black arm”
12. War Requiem: xii. Dies Irae - Dies irae
13. War Requiem: xiii. Dies Irae - “Move him into the sun”
14. War Requiem: xiv. Dies Irae - Pie Iesu Domine
15. War Requiem: xv. Offertorium - Domine Jesu Christe
16. War Requiem: xvi. Offertorium - Sed signifer Sanctus
17. War Requiem: xvii. Offertorium - “So Abram rose, and clave the wood”
18. War Requiem: xvii. Offertorium - Hostias et preces tibi

Disc 2
1. War Requiem: xix. Sanctus - Sanctus
2. War Requiem: xx. Sanctus - “After the blast of lightning from the East”
3. War Requiem: xxi. Agnus Dei - “One ever hangs where shelled roads part” Agnus Dei
4. War Requiem: xxii. Libera Me - Libera me
5. War Requiem: xxiii. Libera Me - “It seemed that out of battle I escaped”
6. War Requiem: xxiv. Libera Me - “ ‘None’, said the other”
7. War Requiem: xxv. Libera Me - “Let us sleep now…” In paradisum
8. War Requiem: xxvi. Libera Me - Requiescant in pace

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