On Saturday 10 November 2018, we held a performance of words and music at Southwark Cathedral in commemoration of 100 years since the end of World War I. City of London Sinfonia also gave this performance in memory of their founder Richard Hickox CBE, who died 10 years ago in November.
All the words narrated by Bill Barclay and Emma Pallant were collaged specifically for our concert, by Bill, from hundreds of memoirs and letters written by survivors of the Great War, including soldiers, officers, doctors, factory workers and family members. These documents can be found in the Imperial War Museum.
Baritone Stephen Whitford delivered expressive solo lines in the Offertoire and Libera me, and Southwark Cathedral Girls’ Choir sang the Pie Jesu prayer, originally written for solo soprano. Combined with Fauré’s orchestration and chamber textures, realised in this instance by conductor Paul Brough, these passages produce the special atmosphere of the Fauré Requiem, which enables the music to serve as a prayer for the dead to receive eternal rest.
Also featured in this commemorative performance were All Saints Kingston and St John the Divine Kennington choirs.
All images © James Berry Photography for City of London Sinfonia, 2018.