Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20, for orchestra is a symphony written by Benjamin Britten in 1940 at the age of 26. It was one of several works commissioned from different composers by the Japanese government to mark the 2,600th anniversary of the founding of the Japanese Empire (taken to be 11 February 660 BCE). The Japanese government rejected the Sinfonia for its use of Latin titles from the Catholic Requiem for its three movements and for its somber overall character, but it was received positively at its world premiere in New York City under John Barbirolli. A performance in Boston under Serge Koussevitzky led to the commission of the opera Peter Grimes from the Koussevitzky Music Foundations.
The Sinfonia is Britten's largest purely orchestral work for the concert hall. It was his first major orchestral work that did not include a soloist and, according to musicologist Peter Evans, marks the peak of his early writing in this idiom. Unlike many of Britten's works from this time, it has remained popular and continues to be programmed on orchestral concerts.
Licence : All Rights Reserved