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War Requiem Op. 66

Jaap van Zweden / Netherlands Radio Philharmonic

War Requiem Op. 66

Price: € 19.95
Format: SACD hybrid
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917238822
Catnr: CC 72388
Release date: 17 April 2012
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917238822
Catalogue number
CC 72388
Release date
17 April 2012

"impressive recording"

BBC Music Magazine, 01-9-2012
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

The cathedral in Coventry was almost entirely destroyed during a German air raid in 1940, with only the outer walls, bell tower and tomb of the first bishop remaining intact. These were preserved as a memorial. In the 1950s, the decision was made to incorporate the ruins in a new building. The first stone was laid by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956. and the new cathedral opened on May 25, 1962. Five days later, it was musically inaugurated with Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, in a performance broadcast live by the BBC.

At the time, Britten was probably the only British composer able to strike a collective chord with his countrymen – even though in his operas, he always sided with eccentrics and outcasts. As a pacifist and homosexual, he had been personally familiar with the conflict between the individual and establishment since the 1930s. Yet Britten was not a political activist, for he was decidedly a member of a generation that held its peace when confronted with the dark aspects of community, family or the military. Artistically, however, Britten was an activist, as witness his antithetical heroes: Peter Grimes, Albert Herring, Billy Bud and Owen Wingrave. At times, his political message was so encoded that it seemed like a message in a bottle for a better future.

Britten's musical protest to war is very profound and impressive and a memorable concert of this piece took place in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in May 2011. This was recorded on Challenge Classics with Jaap van Zweden and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. A performance of world class!

Een muzikaal protest
In deze memorabele uitvoering leidt dirigent Jaap van Zweden het orkest, de solisten en de twee koren tot grote hoogte. Dit prachtige requiem is een van de indrukwekkendste klassieke werken uit de 20ste eeuw. “Van Zweden weet vanaf het begin de dreigende sfeer moeiteloos op te bouwen en een sublieme live uitvoering neer te zetten. Deze uitvoering kan zich absoluut meten met de opname die Britten in 1963 van het War Requiem maakte.” Wil Zenhorst, Mania Klassiek, juni 2012.

Benjamin Britten schreef het War Requiem voor de inwijding van de nieuwe kathedraal van Coventry op 30 mei 1962. De veertiende-eeuwse kathedraal werd in 1940 bijna volledig verwoest tijdens een Duitse luchtaanval. Alleen de buitenste muren, de klokkentoren en de tombe van de eerste bisschop, bleven gespaard. In de jaren '50 werd besloten om de ruïnes op te nemen in een nieuw gebouw, waarvan de eerste steen in 1956 werd gelegd door Koningin Elizabeth.

Britten koos voor een traditionele Latijnse dodenmis, vertolkt door koor en sopraansolist. Af en toe doven de liturgische klanken en gaat de aandacht uit naar de mannelijke solisten. Zij verbeelden negen oorlogsgedichten van Wilfred Owen, een militair die in november 1918 sneuvelde in de loopgraven van Frankrijk, een week voor de wapenstilstand. Britten, overtuigend pacifist, wilde de nutteloosheid van oorlog en de hypocrisie van de kerk in tijden van oorlog in het stuk verwerken.

In de jaren vijftig van de vorige eeuw was Britten waarschijnlijk de enige Britse componist die een groot deel van zijn landgenoten wist aan te spreken. En dat terwijl hij in zijn opera’s vaak de kant koos van de excentrieken en de buitenstaanders. Als atheïst en homosexueel was hij persoonlijk betrokken geraakt bij het conflict tussen het individu en de gevestigde orde sinds de jaren dertig. Toch was Britten geen politiek activist. Integendeel, hij behoorde tot een generatie die bewust koos voor het bewaren van de vrede in tijden van oorlog en confrontatie met de donkere kanten van de samenleving. Maar als kunstenaar was hij wel degelijk een activist. Bij tijd en wijle verstopte hij zijn politieke boodschap op zo'n manier in zijn muziek, dat het leek op een briefje in een fles met de hoop op een betere toekomst. Zijn War Requiem is hier een goed voorbeeld van: het stuk is diepgaand en indrukwekkend en kan gezien worden als een muzikaal protest tegen oorlog.

Jaap van Zwedens eindringliche Deutung von Brittens „War Requiem“

Am 30. Mai 2012 jährt sich zum 50. Mal die Uraufführung von Brittens Musikprotest gegen den Krieg. Ein denkwürdiges Konzert dieses Werkes fand unter der Leitung von Jaap van Zweden im Mai 2011 im niederländischen Utrecht statt, welches nun als Live-Mitschnitt als SACD vorliegt. Eine Aufführung von Weltklasse!

Artist(s)

Jaap van Zweden

Born in Amsterdam in 1960, Jaap Van Zweden began his musical career as a violinist, becoming at nineteen the youngest ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.  In 1997, van Zweden made his decision to conduct full time, played his last concert as a violinist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and was named the chief conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra where he remained until 2003. In 2000, he added the music directorship of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague to his credits, a post he held until 2005. Jaap van Zweden began his third season as music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in September 2010. His commitment to the orchestra was recently extended through the 2015-2016 season. Under his...
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Born in Amsterdam in 1960, Jaap Van Zweden began his musical career as a violinist, becoming at nineteen the youngest ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1997, van Zweden made his decision to conduct full time, played his last concert as a violinist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and was named the chief conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra where he remained until 2003. In 2000, he added the music directorship of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague to his credits, a post he held until 2005.
Jaap van Zweden began his third season as music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in September 2010. His commitment to the orchestra was recently extended through the 2015-2016 season. Under his direction, the orchestra is enhancing its programming and community outreach, continuing to champion new composers, and raising its national profile with an annual residency in Vail, CO and a 2011 appearance at Carnegie Hall in the inaugural Spring for Music Festival. Concurrently with his post in Dallas, van Zweden’s other titled positions include chief conductor and artistic director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (2005-2012), and chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra of Belgium (2008-2012).
Under van Zweden’s leadership, the DSO has established an ongoing residency at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival through the summer of 2012, and debuted five world premiere works over two seasons as part of the DSO’s Texas Instruments Classical Series. Throughout the past seasons, the orchestra, under van Zweden's leadership, has received lavish praise from notable media including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Musical America, The Financial Times, BBC Music Magazine, The Dallas Morning News and many others. In a December 2009 article in The LA Times, Mark Swed named van Zweden one of the”Faces to Watch“ in 2010, noting van Zweden “knows how to generate tense, tactile excitement in all kinds of music.” Van Zweden has also become a highly sought-after guest artist since the DSO introduced him to US audiences in 2007. During the 2010-2011 season, van Zweden debuts with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, San Paulo Symphony, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic. He makes his much-anticipated fourth guest appearance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and returns to guest conduct with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
He also has guested with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capital de Toulouse, Munich Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Tokyo Philharmonic, among others.

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Netherlands Radio Choir

The Netherlands Radio Choir is the largest professional choir in the Netherlands. Since its founding in 1946, the choir has performed a broad repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music and has been synonymous with top-level music performed with passion. It works in various sizes and formations, depending on the music concerned and the conductor. First official chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir was Kenneth Montgomery. After him came Robin Gritton, Martin Wright, Simon Halsey, Celso Antunes and Gijs Leenaars. As from the 2015-2016 season Klaas Stok is chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir. Michael Gläser has been its permanent guest conductor since September 2010. The Netherlands Radio Choir has worked with guest conductors such as Marcus Creed and Peter Dijkstra,...
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The Netherlands Radio Choir is the largest professional choir in the Netherlands. Since its founding in 1946, the choir has performed a broad repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music and has been synonymous with top-level music performed with passion. It works in various sizes and formations, depending on the music concerned and the conductor.
First official chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir was Kenneth Montgomery. After him came Robin Gritton, Martin Wright, Simon Halsey, Celso Antunes and Gijs Leenaars. As from the 2015-2016 season Klaas Stok is chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir. Michael Gläser has been its permanent guest conductor since September 2010.
The Netherlands Radio Choir has worked with guest conductors such as Marcus Creed and Peter Dijkstra, with early music specialists as Frans Brüggen, Philippe Herreweghe and Ton Koopman, and in the symphonic choral repertoire with Jaap van Zweden, James Gaffigan, Markus Stenz and Sir Simon Rattle, among others.
The choir often performs with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in public radio concert series, and it is regularly invited to perform with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since the early 1980s, the Netherlands Radio Choir has been a frequent guest in the Saturday Matinee series of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In these concerts the choir has regularly performed pre- mieres and works by contemporary composers such as Ligeti, Boulez, Birtwistle, Kagel, Reich, Wagemans, Adès, Adams and Vleggaar. Most concerts of the Netherlands Radio Choir are live broadcasted by Radio 4. On CD the Netherlands Radio Choir excels in a broad repertoire including music by Keuris, MacMillan, Mahler, Poulenc, Rossini and Wagner.

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Celso Antunes

The versatile Brazilian conductor Celso Antunes has been the principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir since August 2008. He also teaches choral conducting at the Haute École de Musique de Génève. Celso Antunes (1959) began his musical training in Brazil. He studied voice and conducting at the University of São Paulo and the Musikhochschule Köln.  From 1994 to 1998, he was chief conductor of the Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester. During the same period he was also chief conductor of the Antwerp ensemble Champ d’Action, with which he performed numerous world premieres. From 2002 to 2007 Antunes was music director and chief conductor of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland. Antunes’s repertoire ranges from choral music of the Renaissance to contemporary music....
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The versatile Brazilian conductor Celso Antunes has been the principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir since August 2008. He also teaches choral conducting at the Haute École de Musique de Génève. Celso Antunes (1959) began his musical training in Brazil. He studied voice and conducting at the University of São Paulo and the Musikhochschule Köln. From 1994 to 1998, he was chief conductor of the Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester.
During the same period he was also chief conductor of the Antwerp ensemble Champ d’Action, with which he performed numerous world premieres. From 2002 to 2007 Antunes was music director and chief conductor of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland. Antunes’s repertoire ranges from choral music of the Renaissance to contemporary music. He has conducted the Nieuw Ensemble, Ensemble Modern and the Tippett Ensemble, which he founded; he also linked his name to premieres of music by Wolfgang Rihm, Jonathan Harvey, Michael Tippett, Hans Zender, Brice Pauset and Lera Auerbach. Antunes has been active on renowned European musical stages and festivals for many years. He was invited to conduct at the Donaueschinger Musiktage, the Festival of Flanders, the Musikbiennale München, the Kurt-Weill-Festival in Dessau, the Living Music Festival in Dublin and November Music in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, to name only a few. Celso Antunes regularly conducts celebrated ensembles such as the SWR Vokalensemble in Stuttgart, the BBC Singers in London, the Berliner Rundfunkchor, the Prague Chamber Choir and the Vlaams Radio Koor in Brussels, and he has worked with Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Peter Eötvös and Sylvain Cambreling. Antunes has served as guest conductor to the Manchester Camerata, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra and the Radio Sinfonieorchester NDR Hannover. He regularly returns to his native country and to the Ulster Orchestra of Belfast. Antunes has performed with orchestras such as the Cappella Istropolitana Bratislava, the WDR Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gürzenich Orchestra Köln, the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Latvia in Riga. He returns to Brazil every year to conduct Camerata Fukuda and the State Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo. Celso Antunes conducted the Netherlands Radio Choir in a performance of Tristan Murail’s Les sept paroles in the Cité de la Musique, together with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, con-ducted by Pascal Rophé. He has also conducted at the City of London Festival with the BBC Singers, at the Salzburger Festspiele with SWR Vokalensemble and in the public broadcasting NTR series in the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic.

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Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra gave its first concert on 7 October 1945, led by its founder and ‘first conductor‘ Albert van Raalte, on Radio “Herrijzend Nederland”. Initially the orchestra spent most of its time in studios working on a large number of recordings for the public broadcasting system. The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic featured prominently in the Saturday Matinee as soon as the series started in 1961, and has continued to give frequent live performances ever since. The celebrated Saturday Matinee has hosted many legendary concerts. Illustrious soloists such as Kathleen Ferrier, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Clara Haskil and Jean-Pierre Rampal have shared the stage with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2004, the three classical orchestral formations of the broadcasting 15 system...
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The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra gave its first concert on 7 October 1945, led by its founder and ‘first conductor‘ Albert van Raalte, on Radio “Herrijzend Nederland”. Initially the orchestra spent most of its time in studios working on a large number of recordings for the public broadcasting system. The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic featured prominently in the Saturday Matinee as soon as the series started in 1961, and has continued to give frequent live performances ever since. The celebrated Saturday Matinee has hosted many legendary concerts. Illustrious soloists such as Kathleen Ferrier, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Clara Haskil and Jean-Pierre Rampal have shared the stage with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2004, the three classical orchestral formations of the broadcasting 15 system were transformed into two: the present Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic. In 2006, these two orchestras, the Netherlands Radio Choir and the Metropole Orchestra joined the Dutch public broadcasting organisation NPO.
The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra has been conducted by great names such as Bernard Haitink, Jean Fournet, Hans Vonk, Sergiu Comissiona and Edo de Waart. Jaap van Zweden was named its chief conductor in September 2005. The orchestra has also worked with numerous famed guest conductors such as Leopold Stokowski, Kirill Kondrashin, Antál Dorati, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur and Valery Gergiev. Soon after its founding, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic found itself foremost in Dutch musical life in the number of performances and the diversity of its repertoire, with a predilection for Dutch and contemporary works in its programming. It has honed another facet of its striking profile with a great many opera concertante performances. The orchestra has an extensive discography, ranging from legendary LPs recorded in the 1970s under such conductors as Leopold Stokowski and Antal Doráti to Jean Fournet’s much-lauded renderings of French repertoire. Under Edo de Waart, not only did it release its legendary Wagner interpretations, but also the complete orchestral works of Rachmaninov. CDs with work by contemporary composers such as Jonathan Harvey, Klas Torstensson, Jan van Vlijmen and Stravinsky have garnered prizes and much acclaim.

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Reinbert de Leeuw (conductor)

Reinbert de Leeuw is a well-known conductor and pianist performing mainly contemporary music. He also taught at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague and founded the  “Dutch Charles Ives Society”. In 1974 he founded the Schönberg Ensemble. They focus on performing works by the Second Viennese School. For the strings of the ensemble he composed the piece Etude. Reinbert de Leeuw regularly conducts the Netherlands' major orchestras and ensembles, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra The Hague, the Netherlands Chamber Choir and the ASKO ensemble. He is a regular guest in most European countries and the United States, Japan and Australia. Reinbert de Leeuw has been involved in various opera productions at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam as well as with the Nederlandse Reisopera. Productions include works by Strawinsky, Andriessen, Ligeti and Vivier. In 2011, he conducted Schoenberg's monumental Gurre-Lieder, which...
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Reinbert de Leeuw is a well-known conductor and pianist performing mainly contemporary music. He also taught at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague and founded the “Dutch Charles Ives Society”.

In 1974 he founded the Schönberg Ensemble. They focus on performing works by the Second Viennese School. For the strings of the ensemble he composed the piece Etude.

Reinbert de Leeuw regularly conducts the Netherlands' major orchestras and ensembles, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra The Hague, the Netherlands Chamber Choir and the ASKO ensemble. He is a regular guest in most European countries and the United States, Japan and Australia. Reinbert de Leeuw has been involved in various opera productions at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam as well as with the Nederlandse Reisopera. Productions include works by Strawinsky, Andriessen, Ligeti and Vivier. In 2011, he conducted Schoenberg's monumental Gurre-Lieder, which was the realisation of an old ambition of his.

De Leeuw was in 1992 guest artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival and from 1994–1998 artistic director of Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. He was artistic advisor for contemporary music with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and from 2001 to 2010 he served as artistic leader at the Nederlandse Orkest- en Ensemble-Academie (NJO; Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy).


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Wilma ten Wolde (conductor)

Composer(s)

Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten is one most important British composers from the second half of the twentieth century. Remarkably, he focused on opera, a dying genre, at least in its current form. Britten's contributions however, among which Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Gloriana, The Turn of the Screw, and Death in Venice, managed to remain core repertoire for opera companies to this day. Many of these productions included a role for his artistic partner and life companion Peter Pears. Britten also wrote a number of lieder for this tenor, among which his Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra. Yet, Britten excelled in many more genres. He wasn't even 20 years old when he composed his brilliant Phantasy for hobo quartet and his friendship with...
more

Benjamin Britten is one most important British composers from the second half of the twentieth century. Remarkably, he focused on opera, a dying genre, at least in its current form. Britten's contributions however, among which Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Gloriana, The Turn of the Screw, and Death in Venice, managed to remain core repertoire for opera companies to this day. Many of these productions included a role for his artistic partner and life companion Peter Pears. Britten also wrote a number of lieder for this tenor, among which his Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra. Yet, Britten excelled in many more genres. He wasn't even 20 years old when he composed his brilliant Phantasy for hobo quartet and his friendship with the legendary cellist Rostropovich led to a Cello sonata, three Suites for cello solo and a Symphony for Cello and orchestra in the 1960s.

Britten never became Master of the Queen's Music, yet he surely had feeling for public sentiments. For example, as a pacifist, he taught his people about world peace through his War Requiem from 1962. Britten was an excellent interpreter of his own work, just like Bartók and Stravinsky. Many of his recordings have been matched, but never exceeded.


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Press

impressive recording
BBC Music Magazine, 01-9-2012

There is so much to admire in this recording
Music Web International, 01-7-2012

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Often bought together with..

Der Rosenkavalier
Dutch National Opera / Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra / Marc Albrecht
St Luke Passion
Markus Stenz / Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Symphony No. 8
Jaap van Zweden / Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Uptown|Downtown - an urban panorma in six movements
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic / Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Parsifal
Jaap van Zweden, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Choir & State Male Choir Latvija
La Damnation de Faust
Bernard Haitink & Radio Filharmonisch Orkest & Groot Omroepkoor

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