This year’s Three Choirs Festival is hosted by Worcester and Sunday’s concert played to a packed Cathedral. In addition to Mozart’s Requiem, a specific composition to commemorate the departed in the Christian liturgy, the programme contained other works inspired by or now associated with national mourning and loss.
Barber’s Adagio was broadcast over the radio at the announcement of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death and played at the funerals of Albert Einstein and Princess Grace of Monaco. It was also performed in 2001 at the Last Night of the Proms to commemorate the victims of 9/11.
John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls is written for chorus, orchestra, children’s choir and pre-recorded tape, and was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lincoln Center following the 11 September terrorist attack on the Twin Towers.
Mahler’s Adagietto from his fifth symphony was conducted by Leonard Bernstein at the Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, on 8 June 1968 for the burial of Robert Kennedy.
My fellow soloists in the Mozart were Julia Doyle (soprano), Simon Wall (tenor) and Robert Macdonald (bass). Adrian Partington conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Three Choirs Festival Chorus.