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Britten's War Requiem: Oregon Symphony 

When: Sat., Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Long before Moonrise Kingdom introduced his brilliant music to a wider audience, Benjamin Britten was, unfortunately, known primarily in rarified classical circles for an impressive string of operas and for the War Requiem—a monumental later work that solidified his place of honor in the pantheon of musical geniuses. Dedicated to those who died during World War II, the requiem premiered in 1962 for a British audience that, just 20 years earlier, kept calm and carried on through terrifying blitzkriegs and a tremendous loss of life. It's unsurprisingly somber music, yet decidedly bold in its orchestration, requiring a trio of internationally renowned vocal soloists, a souped-up choir, a children's chorus, and two distinctly separate orchestras. (Yes, TWO fucking orchestras!) I realize the idea of sitting through 90 Twitter-less minutes seems utterly #lame to the majority of Mercury readers. But for those brave souls willing to embark on a lengthy sonic contemplation of humanity's futile brutality and questionable redemption, Britten's masterpiece is guaranteed to provoke profound thought and feeling. We may not like what we hear, but we certainly have a need to hear it. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY

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