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Tell me about this new requiem...

Penthos is a 55-minute work for choir, orchestra and soloists. It has been created by poet and academic Hannah Stone and composer Matthew Oglesby with the centenary commemorations of the end of the Great War in mind.

Working from an ancient middle-eastern idea called penthos, a greek term meaning mourning, Hannah has written a text that deals with the perennial experience of human remorse for ill-doing. This idea was central to the spirituality of the first Christian monks in the Middle East, and is a subject in which she is an academic expert. Furthermore, while she has retained the form of the Western Requiem Mass, she draws on the imagery and language found in the writing of these ancient monks, who themselves tended to express themselves poetically . Read what Hannah has to say about the text...

Matthew's music acknowledges the musical and cultural heritage of the Great War, but also seeks to evoke a broad sense of spirituality and oneness in the diversity of human experience and conflict, uniting the sounds of tolling Russian bells and Serbian chant with the early 20th century orchestral sounds of English, German and French composers. Read what Matthew has to say about the music...

They decided to complete this piece to coincide with the commemoration of the ending of the 'war to end all wars', in sorrowful recognition that this was not the final act of war waged between nations.  So while it resonates with the Armistice, it also acknowledges the continuing hostilities between nations and individuals all over the world, where ill-doing in many different guises continues to cause suffering and grief.

'Give to the fallen your peace, O Lord'

What does penthos mean ?

What is a Requiem ?

Read the text...