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.

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