2013   BBC Four and S4C

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The surprising and enthralling story of the musical Requiem, from its earliest beginnings in plainsong through to Penderecki in the 21st century. John Bridcut's new film features excerpts of the most famous and popular Requiems, but also explores much less familiar terrain – the Requiems of Schumann, Pizzetti and Cherubini, who is in many ways the godfather of the requiem.

Includes performances by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, conducted by Edward Gardner, with Neal Davies (bass-baritone) and Elin Manahan Thomas and Annemarie Kremer (sopranos), and the choir Tenebrae (conducted by Nigel Short).  Contributors are Bryn Terfel, David Cairns, Jane Glover, Bishop Rowan Williams, John Rutter and Sir Colin Davis, to whose memory the film is dedicated.

The film shows how politics and nationalism have been involved in the Requiem for several hundred years, and tracks the chain of inspiration from Ockeghem to the present day.


Director of Photography Stephen Hart
Jib Operator Jeff Thomas
Sound Deian Humphreys
Orchestral and Choral Sound Mike Hatch, Paul Paragon
Online Editor David Peate
Colourist Emyr Jenkins
Dubbing Mixer Alice Knipping
Orchestral Music Producer Tim Oldham
Production Manager Marian Eluned
Assistant Producer Bethan Anwyl
BBC Commissioning Editor Greg Sanderson
Executive Producer Paul Islwyn Thomas
Film Editor Chris Lewis
Written, Narrated and Directed by John Bridcut

A Bulb Films production in association with Crux Productions

After its screening on BBC Four in November 2013, it was shown in three parts on S4C (in Welsh) in May 2014.


John Bridcut’s riveting survey of requiems severe, theatrical, florid or intimate (PICK OF THE WEEKEND).

Martin Hoyle, Financial Times

Though eccentrically structured, Britten’s film is rich in insights and well-cast.  (PICK OF THE DAY)                                

Sunday Times Culture

The requiem has given us some of the most famous classical pieces of music ever written, suggests John Bridcut’s deliberate and moving film.

The Daily Telegraph

John Bridcut's engaging film

The Guardian

John Bridcut's thoughtful film    

The Mail on Sunday

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