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Monday, June 26, 2017


The programme at Mondays at Six at St Clements on July 3 will feature a talk by Richard Aitken titled The bombing of Coventry in November 1940 and the idea of redemption in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.”

Richard Aitken will show a few slides of Coventry Cathedral and its destruction in war on November 14, 1940. He will speak about the conception of the new cathedral and its inauguration in 1963. For this new Cathedral, Benjamin Britten was commissioned to compose a piece of music for its consecration. He chose to set the Catholic Latin Requiem for the Dead to music but inserted his musical settings of nine poems by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen in the text of the traditional Requiem, each poem bearing a relation to its place in the Latin liturgy.

Pieter Scholtz will read one of the Owen poems used in the War Requiem, Anthem for Doomed Youth, and one that Britten did not use, Dulce et Decorum Est” Thereafter, patrons will watch the first two movements of Britten’s Requiem, Requiem aeternam and Dies Irae, performed superlatively in Coventry Cathedral by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons on the 50th anniversary of the first performance of the work in 2013.

“We hope you will be inspired to get to know this hauntingly beautiful and moving work,” says Pieter Scholtz, who is one of the founders of the Mondays at Six programme at St Clements.

St Clements is situated at 191 Musgrave Road. Mondays @ Six run between 18h00 and 19h00. Table bookings are essential on 031 202 2511. There is no cover charge but there is a donations box to support presenters.