On 4th April the V International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival presented one of its highlights – the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski performed Britten’s War Requiem at Tchaikovsky Hall

The great English composer of the 20th century enjoyed close friendship with Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya, which gave to the world numerous music works of various genres. The Requiem also featured soloists Alexandrina Pendatchanska, Ian Bostridge, Matthias Goerne, the Chamber Orchestra conducted by Neville Creed (UK), joined by the Boys’ Choir of the Sveshnikov Choral School and the Yurlov State Academic Choir.

The first performance of Britten's War Requiem took place on 30th May 1962 in Coventry, with the soprano’s part originally intended for Galina Vishnevskaya who was to appear at the première. However, Galina Vishnevskaya was prohibited from leaving for England by the Soviet authorities for political reasons, and it was only in 1966 that she made her appearance at the Moscow première of the War Requiem. This event, as well as the friendship that tied the great musicians, became subject of a specific exhibition in the foyer of Tchaikovsky Hall, which featured the highlights of friendship and artistic life of Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya and Britten: rehearsals, artistic discussions, concerts, joint visits and travels, as well as music manuscripts and letters.

In his introductory address, Vladimir Jurowski dwelled on the history of the War Requiem and some Britten’s life highlights, stressing that this is one of the composer’s most significant works, and essentially “an antiwar requiem that all concert’s participants dedicate to those who unfairly lost and still lose their lives at a time when there seems to be no war.” Also, Vladimir Jurowski thanked Artistic Director Olga Rostropovich for the invitation to take part in the Festival and especially in such an important event as the Requiem.

The concert was attended by such honored guests as the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Olga Golodets, as well as other politicians and public personalities.

On 5th April Tchaikovsky Concert Hall will host the closing gala of the V International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival, which will be celebrated by the Bruckner’s Symphony No. 2 and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and soloist Nicholas Angelich (USA) and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.

© International Rostropovich Festival “Mstislav Rostropovich Week”, 2010 — 2020