Requiem

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John Bridcut explores the development of the requiem

TV & Radio Information
BBC Four
Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 21:00

 

To mark Remembrance Sunday, John Bridcut (below left) explores the development and significance of one of the oldest forms of musical composition. The requiem is a work that uplifts and consoles in equal measure and, in spite of the increasing secularisation of society, is a religious work that retains an almost universal appeal. 

The great requiems – those of Mozart, Berlioz, Verdi, Fauré, Brahms and Britten to name just a few – hold a prominent position within the canon and are regarded among the finest pieces ever composed.

Rooted in the Latin requiem mass tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, the form developed over time to encompass other Christian traditions and this flexibility allowed it to endure as a popular form of music for remembrance.

In this feature-length documentary, Bridcut explores the history of the requiem and introduces specially shot performances featuring the choir Tenebrae, sopranos Elin Manahan Thomas and Annemarie Kremer, bass-baritone Neal Davies and the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales conducted by Edward Gardner.