Watch: Joint German and British orchestra performs War Requiem

For the centenary of the end of the First World War, Andrew Manze conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the NDR Philharmonic Orchestra in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.

pictured: A performance of Verdi’s Requiem, 1916

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  • This same concert will be repeated in Liverpool on Armistice weekend. Soloists will be English tenor Ed Lyon and German baritone Benjamin Appl.

  • A most important event. In German such gestures are often referred to as acts of Versöhnung. In simple translation it means reconciliation, but the usage and implication in German are much deeper. It is a theological concept combining ideas of forgiveness and redemption whose origins lie in ancient Jewish concepts that it is only through reconciliation with the eternal that we can learn to forgive one another. Ideas surrounding Versöhnung became an important part of Hegel’s philosophy of dialectic, contradiction, and synthesis that shapes human history. In modern Germany, Versöhnung is tied to the concept of Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the act of honestly examining the past to learn from errors and move to a better future.

    One thinks of the firebombing of Hamburg in 1943 in Operation Gomorrah which which last 8 days and 7 nights. It killed 42,600 civilians and wounded 37,000 while destroying most of the city. The incendiary bombs created a tornado of super heated air 460 meters high. Even the asphalt in the streets caught fire. There was no oxygen left to breathe. The inferno created 150 mile per hour winds which swept humans into the flames like dry leaves.

    I hope the musicians and public will understand the significance of what they are doing. Never again.

    • “One thinks of the firebombing of Hamburg in 1943 in Operation Gomorrah which which last 8 days and 7 nights. It killed 42,600 civilians and wounded 37,000 while destroying most of the city.” Forgive my incredulity here but why choose an action by the Allies during the war. I suggest you reread your history where you will find that between 1939 – 43 the Luftwaffe blitzed London and most other British cities as well as wreaking havoc across Europe with their Blitzkrieg resulting in thousands dead and maimed. Lets also throw in the indiscriminate V1 and V2 attacks on the civilian population of the UK. I can do without your revisionist bullshit history thank you.

      • I mentioned it because the NDR orchestra (North German Radio Orchestra) is based in Hamburg. Reconciliation means looking at all of the horrors of war and totalitarianism especially in UK/Germany memorials.

        • The RLPO is based in Liverpool, the second most heavily bombed city after London, or didn’t you know that, or perhaps simply chose to ignore so that you could indulge your virtue signalling!

        • The German orchestra involved in this project is the NDR Philharmonie, based in Hannover. The Hamburg orchestra is the Elbphilharmonie, formerly the NDR Symphonie.

    • William writes: “One thinks of…”

      Err…I guess Ellingtonia didn’t think of what you thought of. It is actually very offensive to claim that “everyone” thinks whatever it is you are thinking…even of what you are thinking is something worthy (or you believed to be worthy).

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