Robin Holloway

Let down by Britten

Caught by chance on Remembrance Sunday, the broadcast of the composer’s celebrated recording of War Requiem kept me hooked, listening with half an ear, half fascinated, half repelled, for the whole duration of a trip down memory lane, recalling the wave of patriotic fervour and heart-on-sleeve emotion surrounding the work’s première, 1962, in the new Coventry cathedral.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Election special offer

The stage is set. Grab a front-row seat with The Spectator. Subscribe and get 3 months for just £3 – plus a free election mug.

  • Weekly delivery of the magazine
  • Unlimited access to our website and app
  • Spectator newsletters and podcasts
  • Our online archive, going back to 1828

Comments

Want to join the debate?

Only subscribers can comment. Sign up and – in the run-up to the election – you’ll get the next three months for just £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in