Under the Auspices of the AMAA, LARK Musical Society Presents Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, Conducted by Maestro Vatsche Barsoumian
By Joyce Abdulian
Glendale, CA: The LARK Musical Society, under the auspices of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) will present Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem – A performance dedicated to the memory of all Armenians in Syria and Artsakh who lost their lives in the recent wars – with the participation of the Tziatzan Treble Choir, The LARK Chorus, The LARK Grand and Chamber Orchestras and featuring Shoushik Barsoumian, Soprano; Yeghishe Manucharyan, Tenor; and Edward Levy, baritone. The Concert will take place on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the First United Methodist Church, 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 at 7:00 pm, with a Pre-performance lecture by Doris Melkonian at 6:00 pm.
Reflecting on the War Requiem Maestro Vatsche Barsoumian said, “This season of Lent provides an opportunity to reflect on Christ’s journey of privation before his ultimate sacrifice and resurrection. It compels us to remember our own who have suffered deprivation, our own we have lost, our own who live on in our hearts and memories.”
A large-scale musical work requiring a massive ensemble, War Requiem was commissioned for the re-consecration of Coventry Cathedral in England on May 30th 1962. The original cathedral, called St. Michael’s, was built in the 14th century and had been destroyed in bombing raids during World War II. With the completion of the new St. Michael’s, built next to the ruins of its predecessor, Benjamin Britten was tasked with creating a work appropriate to the occasion.
His response, dedicated to four friends lost in the Great War, is the stunning War Requiem. Built on the traditional Latin Mass for the dead, Britten intertwines the traditional movements with nine poems about war by the renowned English Poet Wilfred Owen—regarded by many as the greatest poet of WW I.
Picture 1. The 1962 reconstruction of the destroyed Coventry Cathedral was the inspiration for Composer Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem.”
Picture 2. The recently destroyed Fifteenth Century Forty Martyrs Armenian Cathedral in Aleppo, is but one testament to the scars violence continues to inflict on human life and spiritual values. Difficulties, humanity still must overcome.
“LARK is proud to partner with the AMAA to bring the War Requiem by Benjamin Britten to our community. While we live in peace here in Los Angeles, our hearts and minds cannot rest because victims continue to fall in Syria and Artsakh. It is fitting to join together on March 4th to experience a concert of such music, dedicated to loss, and together, pray for peace”, said Andy Torosyan, Chairman, Board of the Lark Musical Society.