To be read while listening to War Requiem, by Benjamin Britten, especially the Dies irae We only hold ten thousand notes. Our bodies tense at trumpets sounding with more brass, and then in unison all the men’s voices march march march on rubble bombs blast—because the timpani is pounding. A Berkshire storm suddenly drops like mortar shells: black clouds roll as if demented. The rage we feel at war deflects the rasping, raucous wind. Behind Maestro the canvas curtain curls an acoustical device the size of a ship’s white sail. Bottom corners whip—like chips of flint, then strike! strike! strike! the electric air. We women sing quantus tremor est futurus (how a tremor is). But do we really know? The baritone prepares to sing “Bugles sang” (But I Was Looking at the Permanent Stars). On the title page of our score, Britten quoted Wilfred Owen: My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity … All a poet can do today is warn. So, in our person, our strong stance, our firm presence here—we sing from our mighty occupation of secondary power: a chorus. We sing to all who abuse their primary power from a high seat of political influence or a home: ENOUGH! ENOUGH! ENOUGH! ___ Seiji Ozawa, conductor soloists: Thomas Quasthoff Christine Goerke Ian Bostridge Program notes ________ Source: "War Requiem: Outdoor Rehearsal at Tanglewood," by Gwendolyn Soper, a previously unpublished speech act, written in solidarity with those in Ukraine, or places to which they've fled, during the Russian tyrant's horrific attack.