The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic will join forces with musicians and singers from Germany to perform Benjamin Britten’s stunning War Requiem to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
More than 300 players and singers from Liverpool and Hannover will take part in the concert in Liverpool Cathedral on Saturday, November 10.
The event is part of Liverpool’s Brittle Heart season marking 100 years since the Armistice was declared in ‘war to end all wars’.
And it will be followed on Sunday, November 11 – 100 years to the day that the guns on the Wester Front fell silent – by a poignant Remembrance Day service at the city’s Cenotaph.
The RLPO and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, along with the cathedral’s choristers, will be joined by the NDR Radio Philharmonie Hannover, Knabenchor Hannover and world-class soloists in the concert which will be conduced by Andrew Manze who is the Phil’s principal guest conductor as well as principal conductor of the Hannover orchestra.
And on November 3 they will perform Britten’s work in Hannover itself.
Britten took inspiration from Birkenhead-raised poet Wilfred Owen (who was killed in action 100 years ago on November 4) and uses some of his poetry within the work, which was composed for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral and was designed to be an act of reconciliation.
The War Requiem will be performed in Liverpool Cathedral
Andrew Manze said: “For me, uniting these great musical forces from Britain and Germany has profound symbolism as once hostile countries rehearsing and performing Britten’s landmark War Requiem together in two UNESCO Cities of Music.
“Both Wilfred Owen and Britten were pacifists, raging against man’s inhumanity to man. Whilst war and conflict continues around us today, War Requiem resonates as powerfully as ever as a sign of reconciliation, bringing us together to hear great music that moves us and challenges us to think of the impacts of our actions at a time of remembrance.”
A week of Remembrance events also includes sold out concerts at St George’s Hall on November 7 (WW1 Poets and Music) and the Phil on November 8 (Sheku Kanneh-Mason playing Elgar’s Cello Concerto), a Wilfred Owen Commemoration at Christ Church in Oxton on November 9 – featuring the Phil’s young composers and youth company, and Armistice 100 – Liverpool Remembers at the Museum of Liverpool on November 10, at which a string quartet from the RLPO will play.
For ticket availability for the War Requiem on November 10, visit the website HERE