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Pre-concert lecture by Dr. William Hall, 7pm Segerstrom Center for the Arts Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall BRITTEN’S WAR REQUIEM James Conlon, conductor Tamara Wilson, soprano Joseph Kaiser, tenor Phillip Addis, baritone The Colburn Orchestra | Yehuda Gilad, music director Members of USC Thornton Symphony USC Thornton Chamber Singers | Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe, conductor USC Thornton Concert Choir | Dr. Cristian Grases, conductor Bob Cole Conservatory Chamber Choir from CSU Long Beach Dr. Jonathan Talberg, director CSU Fullerton University Singers | Dr. Robert Istad, conductor Chapman University Singers | Dr. Stephen Coker, director Los Angeles Children's Chorus | Anne Tomlinson, artistic director War Requiem, Op. 66 (1961-62) Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) I. Requiem aeternam II. Dies irae III. Offertorium IV. Sanctus V. Agnus Dei VI. Libera me Words from the Missa pro defunctis and the poems of Wilfred Owen Tonight’s performance of the War Requiem is generously sponsored by Linda and Michael I. Keston. The Colburn School wishes to thank the USC Thornton School of Music and all of the participating choirs for their contributions to tonight’s performance. The Colburn School also wishes to acknowledge James Conlon for his extraordinary contribution to the Britten centenary celebration in Los Angeles and for his commitment to music education throughout Southern California. ©Copyright 1961 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., an Imagem company. Exclusive Print and Online Sponsor Programs, artists and dates subject to change. Photographing or recording this performance without permission is prohibited. Kindly disable pagers, cellular phones and other audible devices. BENJAMIN BRITTEN BRITTEN: WAR REQUIEM, OP. 66 Commissioned for the Coventry Festival to celebrate the consecration of St. Michael’s Cathedral and composed 1961–1962. At its premiere on May 30, 1962, the singers were Heather Harper, Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The City of Birmingham Orchestra and the Melos Ensemble were conducted by Meredith Davis and the composer. ABOUT THE PROGRAM SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2013, 8:15PM My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity… All a poet can do today is warn. These lines are from the preface to a projected collection of poems by Wilfred Owen, generally considered the leading English-language poet of World War I. Owen served bravely throughout the war, which he found increasingly oppressive. He chronicled his growing anti-war feelings in a deeply moving series of poems. One week before the armistice that ended hostilities, Owen was killed in action as he tried to help his troops cross the Sambre Canal in northeast France. He was 25 years old. Owen’s attitudes toward war were complex. He had enlisted and he had fought, yet his poetry shows an ever-increasing pacifism. The attitudes of Benjamin Britten a third of a century later were more straightforward. By the time of the Second World War, he was firm in his anti-war beliefs. His objections to war were hardly problematic in times of peace, but he knew he would be forced to make a public statement as Europe headed inexorably toward war in the late 1930s. As war came closer to England, Britten realized that his pacifism would soon no longer be a hypothetical stance. The composer felt he could no longer remain in England. He moved to the United States in May of 1940 with his life companion, tenor Peter Pears. The FBI kept close tabs on their whereabouts. In a time of war, pacifists were regarded with suspicion in the United States as much as in England. Even 7

Britten's War Requiem Program Book

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