11 November 2008

Ninety Years - Remembrance Day

In Flanders Field the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were Loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep
Though poppies grow in Flanders Fields

Benjamin Britten, England's most prolific and beloved composer of the 20th century was commissioned to write a "piece" for the dedication of the new Coventry Cathedral. He wrote one of the most monumental choral works of history. The War Requiem is a tribute to his many friends who died during the First World War, and in particular to one young man -- Britten's lover. The clip below is of the Lacrimosa -- with weeping. Britten used poems written by WWI soldiers and incorporated them with the test of the requiem mass. If you ever have the chance to hear this opus performed live, do not miss that opportunity because this work is so large it is seldom performed.