'Blitz Requiem' to premiere in London

A new composition remembering the loss of life and damage of the WWII bombings in 1940 is to be performed in September.

St Paul's Cathedral after the Blitz

The most famous building to survive the Blitz, St Paul's Cathedral, is to be the venue for the premiere of a new 'Blitz Requiem'. Composer David Goode has set text by Second World War poet Francis Warner, telling the stories of the poet's family during the intense period of bombings in September 1940.

The new piece, which will be performed by The Bach Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 September, combines the structure of the Latin Requiem Mass with more personal memories of the war, including Warner's mother giving birth during a bombing raid, haunting images of dead children in a playground, and air-raid sirens.

Warner said: “It is a great honour that my personal experiences of the Blitz will be lifted into the music of David Goode’s unique gifts, through the expertise of The Bach Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, in this world-wide symbol of faithful endurance – St Paul’s Cathedral – which the full onslaught of the Nazi bombers could not destroy.”

As well as the Requiem, the concert will also feature a selection of British music by Tallis and Vaughan Williams, alongside a performance of Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten by Arvo Pärt. Tickets are available from theBarbican website .

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