Music for Remembrance
Ralph Vaughan Williams / John Tavener / Herbert Howells

Music for Remembrance

Westminster Abbey Choir / Britten Sinfonia / James O’Donnell

CDA 68020 - 0034571280202

Information GreatBrittain Germany

The main feature is Duruflé’s Requiem, one of the best-loved of all works of the twentieth century, and given an astoundingly beautiful performance here, enhanced by distinguished soloists Christine Rice and Roderick Williams.
Requiem is many ways a paradoxical work, based on plainsong but with Durufle’s sensuous harmonies suffusing every note with feeling: ‘This Requiem is not an ethereal work which sings of detachment from human concerns’, he said. ‘It reflects, in the unchanging form of Christian prayer, the anguish of man faced with the mystery of his final end.’ It is a work of unimpeachable integrity, a miraculous synthesis of the old and the new.

Throughout the past century the Abbey has been a focus of national remembrance on Armistice Day, and ‘O God, our help in ages past’—the ‘great ceremonial hymn of the English nation’, quoted in Vaughan Williams’ Lord, thou has been our refuge—has been a constant and reassuring presence, from the Burial Service of the Unknown Warrior on 11 November 1920 to the Service commemorating the Passing of the World War One Generation on 11 November 2009. The anthem by John Tavener recorded here was composed for that service, and all the other English music has some special significance in this place: a statue of Dietrich Bonhoeffer stands above the west door of Westminster Abbey (one of the ten twentieth-century Christian martyrs installed in the niches there in 1998), while the ashes of Herbert Howells and Ralph Vaughan Williams are buried in the church where their music has contributed so much to daily services and great state occasions. 

  • 1
    Requiem, Op. 9
    I. Introït
  • 2
    Requiem, Op. 9
    II. Kyrie
  • 3
    Requiem, Op. 9
    III. Domine Jesu Christe
  • 4
    Requiem, Op. 9
    IV. Sanctus
  • 5
    Requiem, Op. 9
    V. Pie Jesu
  • 6
    Requiem, Op. 9
    VI. Agnus Dei
  • 7
    Requiem, Op. 9
    VII. Lux aeterna
  • 8
    Requiem, Op. 9
    VIII. Libera me
  • 9
    Requiem, Op. 9
    IX. In paradisum
  • 10
    Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge, 'Psalm 90'
  • 11
    Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    I. Morning Prayers
  • 12
    Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    II. Prayers in the Time of Distress
  • 13
    Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    III. Evening Prayers
  • 14
    Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing
  • 15
    The Peace That Surpasseth Understanding