2. Remember not to forget
Taking inspiration from Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (1962), this song tells the story of the night Coventry was bombed during WWII and reminds us of the importance of knowing our city’s history in order to shape a bright future.
Arguably the most poignant song in the whole cantata, this makes considerable demands on the voice: articulating words meaningfully, whispering and chanting, singing high and low, using a wide range of dynamics and expression.
KS1 to sing/chant the ostinati.
KS2 to sing the 5/8 sections and lead the litany style list.
Refrain: 'We are all shaped by history' is the main melody.
Sections A - E: Litany. This has a repetitive structure detailing the devastating events of the Coventry blitz 14th - 15th November 1940.
Ostinato: Coventry’s burning... A series of phrases whispered, spoken or chanted over the litanies.
Section E: Featuring lines from the war poetry of Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke.
Bar 139: Father forgive ~ inspired by the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation and chanted over a single sustained chord.
Moonlight Sonata: the name of the bombing operation and the inspiration for the closing motif.
Breathing is important. Aim for a smooth and even delivery (spaghetti singing) and an awareness of phrasing. Note how the melody moves step-by-step and demands a range of dynamics and expression.
Compose rhythmic riffs with 5 beats to fit with the ostinato rhythms; with practise notice how 5 beats in a bar begins to feel regular.
♫ Listen to Agnus Dei (Benjamin Britten). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flEp_xxer88
and Piano Sonata No. 14 Moonlight (Beethoven) www.youtube.com/watch?v=E10K73GvCKU
💡 Read, recite or learn by heart one of the featured poems Anthem for Doomed Youth (Wilfred Owen) and The Soldier (Rupert Brooke). www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47393/anthem-for-doomed-youth www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/13076/the-soldier