"[Britten's War Requiem] received a magnificent performance last night, in which the cathedral revealed itself as acoustically much better for music on this scale than it had promised at rehearsal, with no audience to absorb the resonance. Heather Harper, Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau were all three superb in the solo parts, and the Festival Choir fully redeemed itself after its unsatisfactory performance in the Bliss last week. The excellent orchestra was the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Meredith Davies was the masterly conductor, with the composer as assistant conductor for the sections with chamber ensemble, which were finely played by the Melos Ensemble." - The Guardian, 31 May 1962
Benjamin Britten's monumental War Requiem was premièred at Coventry Cathedral on 30 May 1962, and broadcast live on BBC radio across Britain. It had been commissioned for the consecration of the new cathedral, built to replace the old fourteenth century building, destroyed in a 1940 German bombing raid of the city.
This fabulous new Ambient Stereo XR remaster is coupled with two further recordings featuring Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten: Nocturne, broadcast live from the 1959 Aldeburgh Festival, and a BBC studio recording with the London Symphony Orchestra of Our Hunting Fathers from 1961. All are presented as broadcast with full commentary and in excellent sound quality.