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Requiem for Sir John Tavener, 1944-2013

Composer Sir John Tavener has died. Most recently and popularly known for "Song for Athene," performed at the conclusion of Princess Diana's funeral, and for Funeral Canticle which was featured in Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. His life and work was devoted to music as a search for deeply spiritual expression, having converted to Eastern Orthodoxy in 1977. In his last interview he discussed how he had begun to turn again to some of the Western music he'd previously shunned, and turned his spiritual thoughts to other traditions as well. (What he called the "supreme achievement" of his life, the eight hour long all-night vigil The Veil of the Temple contains Sufi, Buddhist and Hindu texts as well as Orthodox Christian.) [more inside]
posted by dnash on Nov 12, 2013 - 28 comments

 

Two Cathedrals

My subject is War, and the pity of War.
The Poetry is in the pity…
All a poet can do today is warn.

Two 20th century choral masterpieces share more than Biblical texts. Benjamin Britten’s well known War Requiem, Op. 66 and Rudolf Mauersberger’s lesser known Wie liegt die Stadt so wüst were both written in response to the destruction of medieval architecture and major churches in WWII bombings. Since 1956, the cities of Coventry and Dresden have been twinned to promote peace and understanding. [more inside]
posted by Madamina on May 27, 2013 - 10 comments

Lux Æterna, Disney Edition

Requiem for a Mermaid. Requiem for a Lion King. Requiem for Pocahontas. Requiem for a Hunchback. (Previously: Requiem for Ferris Bueller, Toy Story Requiem.)
posted by hermitosis on Aug 21, 2011 - 9 comments

The Letter U, and the Numeral 2

Reconnaissance will outlive the U-2, but there will always be a divot in the hearts of those who have seen the curvature of the earth, the stars seemingly close enough to touch, and known the satisfaction of having completed a mission with the Dragon Lady. Former U-2 pilot and military correspondent Cholene Espinoza writes a lovely adieu to these beautiful, difficult-to-fly aircraft, as well as a requiem for the era of human pilots for surveillance, giving way now to UAVs and other remote-control drones. The U-2 is, amazingly, still in service, but apparently soon to be grounded -- or not -- half-a-century after Francis Gary Powers' little Cold War incident. [Previously]
posted by chavenet on May 12, 2010 - 36 comments

The Phoenix Requiem

The Phoenix Requiem - a graphic novel by Sarah Ellerton. The story is five volumes and has a planned ending. It should be around 800 pages long... but there's enough there already for an all-day archive binge.
posted by Wolfdog on Apr 7, 2010 - 12 comments

It's 25 Years Ago Today Since Maria Callas Died.

It's 25 Years Ago Today Since Maria Callas Died. There's a badly designed but well-intentioned and informative Italian website to commemorate the anniversary and there's the film Callas Forever, directed by one of her best friends (and the director of many of her most memorable operas, Franco Zefirelli. It premiered today. Mozart's Requiem was also played at the concert held in her honour tonight in Athens. I can't help thinking, though, that the Web is sorely lacking in resources about one of the greatest, most goosebump-provoking singers who ever lived. In fact, classical singers and classical music in general seem very (increasingly) badly served. Even the glorious Andante magazine, which I recently linked to, looks like it's disappeared...
posted by MiguelCardoso on Sep 16, 2002 - 21 comments

The Shot Chord Heard Round the World!

The Shot Chord Heard Round the World! On the morning of Nine Eleven 2002 at 8:46am, over 160 choirs across the world will sing Mozart's "Requiem" to metaphorically stand in for the thousands of voices silenced a year ago. Among all the ideas I've heard to commemorate this occasion, this one seems the most dignified, and least cringeworthy. They mentioned it on NPR's Morning Edition (caution: Real Audio file).
posted by ZachsMind on Sep 10, 2002 - 33 comments

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