|Ballad for children's voices and orchestra|
|by Benjamin Britten|
Benjamin Britten in 1968, when he began to compose the work
|Occasion||50th anniversary of the Save The Children Fund|
|Text||Kinderkreuzzug 1939 by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Hans Keller|
|Dedication||Hans Werner Henze|
|Performed||19 May 1969|
Children's Crusade, Op. 82, subtitled a Ballad for children's voices and orchestrais a composition by Benjamin Britten. He completed it in 1969, setting Bertolt Brecht's poem Kinderkreuzzug 1939 for children's choir with some solo parts, keyboard instruments and an array of percussion, to be performed mainly by children. It was first performed in an English version at St Paul's Cathedral in London on 19 May 1969.
Benjamin Britten composed several works for performance by children.He wrote Children's Crusade in October and November 1968, setting a narrative poem by Bertolt Brecht entitled Kinderkreuzzug 1939, translated by Hans Keller. The composer stated that he had been interested in setting the text for some time, and suggested it as appropriate when he was approached to compose a work for the 50th anniversary of the Save The Children Fund.
Children's Crusade was performed, in an English version,by members of the Wandsworth School Choir, conducted by Russell Burgess, at St Paul's Cathedral in London on 19 May 1969, as part of a commemorative service. The same year, the performance was repeated as part of the Proms, in a concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 31 August, with Mozart's Symphony No. 25 in G minor and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique".
It was published by Faber Music in 1970,dedicated to Hans Werner Henze.
The first performers recorded the work in 1970 for a collection of Britten Rarities, with the Wandsworth School Boys' Choir, among the soloists Adrian Thompson, pianists Ian Cobb and John Clegg, organist Jonathan Smith and six percussionists.The first performance of the German version took place in Braunschweig in 1980 by girls and boys of the Braunschweiger Jugendchor (Brunswick Youth Choir), conducted by Manfred Ehrhorn, followed by the first recording in German a year later. It was reissued in 2012.
In 2002 and 2003, the work was recorded, with other music by Britten for children, by the Choristers of Christ Church Cathedral and Worcester College Chapel Choristers, Christian Wilson (piano), John Madden (percussion and chamber organ) and the Oxfordshire Youth Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Stephen Darlington.A 2015 recording by the Mädchenchor Hannover conducted by Gudrun Schröfel combined the work with Britten's A Ceremony of Carols .
The topic is a group of children in Poland during World War II in quest of peace. It was, after Britten's War Requiem, another work inspired by his pacifist convictions, pointing out the "futility of war, witnessed through the eyes of a group of brave Polish children in the face of overwhelming odds",based on Brecht's imagery.
Britten scored the vocal part for a boys' choir with nine solo parts. The orchestra includes a battery of percussion, two pianos and electronic organ or portable organ. The work takes about 19 minutes to perform.The percussion is intended to be played by children with the help of a few adults. The pianos and organ are designed to establish pitch. The work has been regarded as "a bleak pacifist message", and an "utterly serious piece of music, cleverly designed so as to involve as many children as possible in conveying the rather desperate, bleak message of Brecht’s poem".
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945).
The War Requiem, Op. 66, is a large-scale setting of the Requiem composed by Benjamin Britten mostly in 1961 and completed in January 1962. The War Requiem was performed for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, which was built after the original fourteenth-century structure was destroyed in a World War II bombing raid. The traditional Latin texts are interspersed, in telling juxtaposition, with extra-liturgical poems by Wilfred Owen, written during World War I.
Stuart Oliver Knussen was a British composer and conductor.
Westminster Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Sir Stephen John Cleobury was an English organist and music director. He worked with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, where he served as music director from 1982 to 2019, and with the BBC Singers.
Saint Nicolas, Op. 42, is a cantata with music by Benjamin Britten on a text by Eric Crozier, completed in 1948. It covers the legendary life of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, Lycia, in a dramatic sequence of events. The composer wrote the work for the centenary of Lancing College in Sussex, with the resources of the institution in mind. It is scored for mixed choir, tenor soloist, four boys singers, strings, piano duet, organ and percussion. The only professionals required are the tenor soloist, a string quintet to lead the other strings, and the percussionists. Saint Nicolas is Britten's first work for amateur musicians. The premiere was the opening concert of the first Aldeburgh Festival in June 1948, with Peter Pears as the soloist.
William James Mathias CBE was a Welsh composer.
Noye's Fludde is a one-act opera by the British composer Benjamin Britten, intended primarily for amateur performers, particularly children. First performed on 18 June 1958 at that year's Aldeburgh Festival, it is based on the 15th-century Chester "mystery" or "miracle" play which recounts the Old Testament story of Noah's Ark. Britten specified that the opera should be staged in churches or large halls, not in a theatre.
A Ceremony of Carols,Op. 28, is a choral piece by Benjamin Britten, scored for three-part treble chorus, solo voices, and harp. Written for Christmas, it consists of eleven movements, with text from The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems, edited by Gerald Bullett. The text is principally in Middle English, with some Latin and Early Modern English. The piece was written in 1942 while Britten was at sea, travelling from the United States to England.
Paul Dessau was a German composer and conductor. He collaborated with Bertolt Brecht and composed incidental music for his plays, and several operas based on them.
The Missa brevis in D, Op. 63, is a setting of the Mass completed by Benjamin Britten on Trinity Sunday, 1959. Set for three-part treble choir and organ, it was first performed at London's Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral on 22 July of the same year. Britten composed the Mass for George Malcolm's retirement as organist and choirmaster at Westminster: the printed dedication reads "For George Malcolm and the boys of Westminster Cathedral Choir". It was Britten's first and only setting of the Mass. Malcolm's live recording, from a service at the cathedral, lasts ten minutes.
John Rutter's Gloria is a musical setting of parts of the Latin Gloria. He composed it in 1974 on a commission from Mel Olson, and conducted the premiere in Omaha, Nebraska. He structured the text in three movements and scored it for choir, brass, percussion and organ, with an alternative version for choir and orchestra. It was published in 1976 by Oxford University Press.
Arthur William Oldham OBE was an English composer and choirmaster. He founded the Edinburgh Festival Chorus in 1965, the Chorus of the Orchestre de Paris in 1975, and the Concertgebouw Orchestra Chorus in Amsterdam in 1979. He also worked with the Scottish Opera Chorus 1966–74 and directed the London Symphony Chorus 1969–76. For his work with the LSO Chorus, he won three Grammy Awards. He was also a composer, mainly of religious works, but also a ballet and an opera.
The Company of Heaven is a composition for soloists, speakers, choir, timpani, organ, and string orchestra by Benjamin Britten. The title refers to angels, the topic of the work, reflected in texts from the Bible and by poets. The music serves as incidental music for a mostly spoken radio feature which was first heard as a broadcast of the BBC in 1937.
The Festival Te Deum, Op. 32, a sacred choral piece by the English composer Benjamin Britten, is a setting of the Te Deum from the Book of Common Prayer. It was composed in 1944 to celebrate the centenary of St Mark's Church, Swindon, and was first performed there in 1945.
A Boy Was Born, Op. 3, is a choral composition by Benjamin Britten. Subtitled Choral variations for men's, women's and boys' voices, unaccompanied , it was originally composed from 1932 to 1933. It was first performed on 23 February 1934 as a BBC broadcast. Britten revised the work in 1955. The composer set different texts related to Christmas to music as theme and variations, scored for an a cappella choir with boys' voices.
Who Are These Children? is a song cycle for tenor and piano composed in 1969 by Benjamin Britten (1913–76), and published as his Op. 84. It consists of settings of twelve poems by the Scottish poet William Soutar (1898–1943).
The Golden Vanity is a musical setting of an adaptation by Colin Graham of a traditional folk song, also known as "The Sweet Trinity", for boys' voices and piano by the English composer Benjamin Britten (1913–76). The composer described it as a vaudeville. The boys act out parts as well as sing; Britten wrote on the score: "The Vaudeville should be given in costume but without scenery ... The action ... should be mimed in a simple way and only a few basic properties, such as telescopes and a rope, are needed ... A drum should be used for the sound of cannon fire".
A Hymn of St Columba is a composition for choir and organ by Benjamin Britten, written in 1962. He set a hymn in Latin by Saint Columba, the founder of Iona Abbey, to music. It was published by Boosey & Hawkes.