Foulds: A World Requiem / Botstein, Charbonnet, Et Al
LIVE CONCERT RECORDING - WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING. Adopted by the British Legion as the centerpiece of its Armistice Night celebrations from 1923 to 1926 at the Royal Albert Hall but not heard since then, the Manchester-born John Foulds's heartfelt memorial to the war dead of all nations is here revived under the American conductor Leon Botstein in a spectacular recreation of those original Festival of Remembrance performances. With international soloists (Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Stuart Skelton and Gerald Finley), massed choirs, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, off-stage fanfares and the great organ of the Royal Albert Hall, this performance presents music on a huge scale. Very different in nature from Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem' of forty years later, Foulds's 'A War Requiem' is nevertheless a significant forerunner in its deeply pacifist inspiration, its used of mixed, only partly liturgical texts, its varied instrumental forces, and its relation to the 1914-18 War. Indeed it dared to offer itself as a public statement - as a focus for a national or even an international act of remembrance. Its relation to war is much more direct as it was composed in the immediate aftermath of the conflict. Foulds stated that it was conceived as 'a tribute to the memory of the Dead - a message of consolation to the bereaved of all countries', and in its ardent invocation of peace it leans towards the mystical. 'It went deeper down and reached higher up, it was bigger, broader, nobler and reached out into the eternal than music as it is commonly understood and interpreted, or as any music than that heard by the great masters, has ever done. It is indeed a world heritage.' Thus wrote the Labour MP Frederick Pethick-Lawrence after attending the premiere of 'A World Requiem' on Armistice Night 1923, and his statement was typical of the audience reaction on that night. This modern revival is long overdue and may now demonstrate that the work's relevance is both timeless and contemporary.
Catalog Number: CHSA 5058(2)
Composer: John Foulds
Conductor: Leon Botstein
Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Crouch End Festival Chorus, Philharmonia Chorus, Trinity Boys Choir
Performer: Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Gerald Finley, Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet, Stuart Skelton