When history books recall my Generation Y's coming of age, the attacks of September 11th might very well define the culture of a new American millennia. Yet as a young Midwesterner with no immediate loss in that tragic day, I've often struggled with a certain disconnect; my heart aches for those in continued mourning, yet knows no such pain personally.
But tonight, when sharing Benjamin Britten's War Requiem for a sold-out German crowd, a people's pain from two world wars was ever present in performers and audience alike. It was for these people that I believe Britten wrote the requiem - a hope filled, healing balm probing for peace through the words of a young, poignant poet. As I sang the text, "this day of wrath shall consume the world in ashes," I knew the elder man next to me understood those words in a different way -- his family lost their home and loved ones in the World War II bombings of Hannover. And as we, a choir of masses and soloists, concluded with the words "let them rest in peace,"a full minute of silence conveyed a communal act of ennobled remembrance and propelling hope.
-Matthew Olson, masters choral conducting
Conductors Mark Russel Smith, University of Minnesota and Karl-Heinz Bloemeke, Hochschule für Musik, Detmold converse together about aspects of the performance.
Conductor Benjamin Klemme, who sang in the chorale reacts to the performance.