Recording Requiem for the Fallen

25 February 2016 / News

Audience members who experienced Requiem for the Fallen in concert described the work as “shattering”, “intensely moving” and “one of the most significant works of NZ composition”. After its premiere in the NZ Festival in 2014, critic John Button referred to it as: “An unforgettable occasion that I hope people outside Wellington get a chance to experience.”

Since then, audiences in Dunedin and Auckland have had the opportunity to experience the work in concert, and now Atoll Records producer Wayne Laird has been inspired to ensure that New Zealanders in every part of the country, and for generations to come, will be able to hear this remarkable work in a high quality studio recording.

Written to commemorate the ANZAC experience of World War I by composer Ross Harris, librettist Vincent O’Sullivan, and taonga pūoro composer Horomona Horo, Requiem for the Fallen was jointly commissioned by the New Zealand String Quartet and the Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir for performance alongside tenor Richard Greager and taonga pūoro player Horomona Horo, under the direction of Karen Grylls.

Our NZSQ manager, Christine Argyle, wore two hats at the recording session – one overseeing the NZSQ schedule and the other as a singer with Voices New Zealand.  She says:

"Coming together again to record Requiem for the Fallen was a privilege for all involved. Although it was a year since our last performance, we laid down the tracks remarkably quickly as I think this powerful music is somehow ‘in our bones’ now. Fragments of the piece circle in my head from time to time, especially when visiting a WWI exhibition or reading an account of the ANZAC experience. Ross, Vincent and Horomona have managed to capture something of those unspeakable events and the emotions they provoked in this haunting memorial not only to those who fell, but also to those who returned and were forever scarred by their experiences."

Requiem for the Fallen will be released on Atoll Records in 2017.

Photo shows NZSQ in foreground with Ross Harris (centre right), Wayne Laird (rear left) and Horomona Horo (rear right).

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