Latham’s epic requiem message won’t ever be forgotten

Christopher Latham conducting the total ensemble. Picture: Peter Hislop.

Music / “POW Requiem”, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, choirs and soloists, directed by Christopher Latham. At Llewellyn Corridor. October 29.  Reviewed by LEN POWER.

AN extraordinary occasion in its scope and dimension, the message of the “POW Requiem” is that solely via forgiveness can we discover peace. Remembering these households whose lives have been deeply affected, there may be hope the hurt that was executed by World Struggle II will be repaired.

This epic live performance confirmed all views, via the facility of music and imagery, making a deeper understanding of the tales of prisoners of warfare from World Struggle II, significantly these held captive in Asia.

Directed by Christopher Latham, artist-in-residence on the Australian Struggle Memorial and director of the Flowers of Peace challenge, it was a large enterprise.

Latham introduced collectively not solely the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, but in addition a number of choirs of adults and youngsters, soloists together with Susannah Lawergren; soprano Andrew Goodwin; tenor Neil Pigot actor, musicians on Japanese devices and others too quite a few to say.

Specifically commissioned musical works had been by a number of of Australia’s up to date composers together with Andrew Schultz, Cyrus Meurant, Elena Kats-Chernin, Graeme Koehne and Jonathan Mills. Your entire stage was crammed to capability and was a formidable sight.

The live performance started with the primary motion of Erwin Schulhoff’s Symphony No. 8 and signalled the beginning of the warfare.  It was significantly poignant to know that Schulhoff is taken into account crucial Jewish composer killed within the Holocaust. The music’s ominous, driving sound was accompanied on giant screens that gave photographs, data and statistics of early campaigns. The variety of POWs was already steadily climbing.

See also  Music competition to hunt out 'the kid inside'
Andrew Goodwin, Tobias Cole and Neil Pigot sing songs from the camps. Picture: Peter Hislop.

The primary act of the live performance’s music targeted primarily on musical works by prisoners and POWs on all sides in Europe and Australia. The experiences of Italian, German and Japanese POWS in Australia had been proven together with the Cowra Breakout, the element of which was significantly shifting, the Dunera Boys, wartime escapes, a ladies’s POW choir and the little identified element of the POW “universities”.  Music by Britten, Bischofswerder, Chopin, Debussy, Messaien and others was heard whereas the statistics of this warfare continued to climb.

The second act targeted on POWs in Asia together with the autumn of Singapore, the Thai-Burma railway, The Rōmusha – Asian civilian labourers, the entertainers of the POW camps and mateship. The function of clergymen and medical personnel, hunger and the considered going dwelling had been movingly detailed.

The statistics continued to climb and it was sobering to do not forget that these weren’t simply numbers – they had been all actual folks.

All of it led to a robust finale with Paul Mealor’s “The Tears of Forgiveness” and Ross Edwards’ “Celestium”.

With a heightened consciousness of the sacrifices made by the women and men on all sides of the warfare, the therapeutic energy of music and the sense of forgiveness, this live performance achieved its aim and its message won’t ever be forgotten.