BBC Music Magazine Award for Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir
small, BBC Music Magazine Award for Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir, The Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir, photo. Łukasz Rajchert, chor_filharmonii_benjamin_britten_war_requiem.jpg
On the 100th anniversary of Benjamin Britten's birth, the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir conducted by Paul McCreesh performed one of his most important compositions - “War Requiem” from 1962.
Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir
bbc music award
The recording of Britten's composition received the Choral award in the 2014 BBC Music Magazine Awards, which are voted on by the public and the magazine's own jury of experts. The awards ceremony took place in London on 8th April 2014.
“War Requiem” is one of the major oratorios of the twentieth century and an expression of Britten’s pacifist beliefs. ''War Requiem'' was written on the occasion of the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, built after the original fourteenth century cathedral was destroyed by bombing in World War II . Britten combines the Latin text of the Missa pro defunctis (Mass for the Dead) with nine Wilfred Owen poems - a poet who died in the Great War. The composer dedicated the piece to his friends who died as a result of the war (one committed suicide in 1959, others were killed on the battlefield). In 1988, Derek Jarman made a film adaptation of Britten’s oratory.
The recording involved over 300 performers (the combined forces of the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir and the Gabrieli Consort & Players), conducted by Paul McCreesh. The resulting album has been warmly received by critics worldwide.
Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir was the first Polish vocal ensemble to perform at the BBC Proms summer concerts. The choir has collaborated with many famous conductors, such as Jacek Kaspszyk, Krzysztof Penderecki, James MacMillan, Łukasz Borowicz, Mike Brewer, and Bob Chilcott.
British conductor Paul McCreesh is artistic director of Gabrieli Consort & Players, which he founded in 1982. In 2006-2012, he was artistic director of the International Festival Vratislavia Cantans. McCreesh's repertoire extends between the old and contemporary music, specializing in conducting vocal tracks. He has recorded many albums with the legendary Deutsche Grammophon label and also runs his own publishing house - Winged Lion Records.
The awarded album is one of a series recorded by the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir (conducted by Agnieszka Franków - Żelazny) in collaboration with Paul McCreesh. The first disc – “Grande Messe des Morts” written by Hector Berlioz was awarded with the 2012 BBC Music Magazine Award in the “Technical Excellence” category. The second album – “Elijah” by Felix Medelssohna-Bartholdy, in 2012 was awarded by the Gramophone magazine with Editor's Choice Award, and with last year’s Diapason d'Or de l'Année 2013 statuette.
Sources: press materials, April 2014, ed. fl, translated: katarzyna Maksimiuk, 11.04.2014