Britten’s War Reqiuem for St Albans International Organ Festival

Sir Richard Armstrong

Sir Richard Armstrong - Credit: Archant

AUDIENCE members at the performance of Benjamin Britten’s epic War Requiem which will open this year’s St Albans International Organ Festival will have a chance to see the Cathedral from a new perspective.

For the huge work is to be staged at the west end of the nave and under the great memorial window which marks the fallen of the First World War

The huge work, a setting of the Latin Mass interwoven with the poems of Wilfred Owen, the soldier poet who died of wounds just days before the end of the conflict, calls for a huge orchestra, three choirs and three soloists.

The performance, to be conducted by Sir Richard Armstrong, will see the St Albans Bach Choir joining forces with choristers from the cathedral and Mosaic Chamber Choir as well as the Britten Sinfonia and soloists soprano Geraldine McGeevy, tenor John Mark Ainsley and German baritone Wolfgang Holzmair.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the St Albans International Organ Festival as well as the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten and the performance of the Requiem is just one of a series of events that will be taking place during the festival which runs from July 11 to 20.

The Requiem will be performed at 8.15pm on Saturday, July 13, and tickets priced £15 to £30 are available from the box office on 01721 846126.

Other events include a performance by the Gould Trio together with friends, the traditional Three Choirs concert with the choirs of St Albans Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral and York Minster, and a performance by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

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More information on the festival and the organ competition featuring young organists from around the world is available at