Britten, Benjamin (1913-1976)

Benjamin Britten probably was the foremost British composer of the twentieth century. His operatic output alone (Billy Budd, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Peter Grimes, Death in Venice) would ensure that, but he has also been a prolific composers in other genres ranging from songs and chamber works to orchestral works and oratories.
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War Requiem, op. 66 (1961, December 20th)

Text Missa De Profunctis (in Latin) and poems by Wilfred Owen (English).
Notes The War Requiem requires an organ and two orchestras: a large one to accompany the Latin mass, and a chamber orchestra for the settings of Owen's poems. For voices the Britten uses a mixed chorus and a children's choir, plus three solo voices (soprano, tenor and baritone). The Mass was written for the consecration of Coventries Cathedral which had been destroyed during World War II. It was performed with the composer conducting the chamber orchestra and the German Fischer-Dieskau singing the baritone part. Wilfrid Owen was a British officer killed in World War I.