In a way, Britten is to UK as Mozart is to Austria - or more so these days because Britten is contemporary. The "War Requiem" is a monumental lamentation of the meaningless deads from the World War I, but not restricted to that war - it spreads itself to all the misery of Man, when dealing with the issue of sending young ones into certain death. As such, the Requiem is a statement that must never be forgotten.
This production is superb in all but one apsect, that irritates me so much that I only can give 4 stars: The Requiem is placed on 2 CD's, which is needed of course - but after the final tone in the Requiem, there is a silence of some 10-20 seconds and then the "extras" are beginning. The "extras" are soundbites from the rehearsal before the performance, and are in their own rights very interresting. But why - why should they be placed on the same CD where the last tone of this Requiem is lingering out?
What the producer here was thinking of was not compassion, but money! This is naturally a way to save an extra CD, and who gives a damn about the feeling that this otherwise masterly produced piece of art is giving you?...
This is a crying shame, as the whole atmosphere of grief and relief is diminished. Apart from this fault, the rehearsal material is actually extremely well produced and very good if you have the score in front of you.