Since I believe ....
Since I believe that there is in every man the spirit of God, I cannot destroy...human life...The whole of my life has been devoted to acts of creation (being by profession a composer) and I cannot take part in acts of destruction...I believe sincerely that I can help my fellow human beings best, by continuing...the creation or propagation of music.
Statement sent to tribunal for the registration of Conscientous Objectors by Benjamin Britten in May 1942. Britten's War Requiem was first performed on May 30th 1962 in Coventry Cathedral.
Now read how men will go content with what we spoiled and we shall overcome.
Image credit from Prometheus, shows a rehearsal for the War Requiem in Coventry Cathedral. Britten to the right of the podium is talking to the principal conductor Meredith Davies. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
Within five months of release in 1963 Britten's recording of the War Requiem had sold 200,000 copies.