BBC Music Magazine
Luke Dorr, Cambridge, NY, US
I have been listening to James Whitbourn’s Annelies, a modern choral masterpiece that is timely and chilling when placed in the context of our current world situation. Not unlike Ralph Vaughan Williams’s 1930s Dona nobis pacem, which drew upon Whitman’s poetic lament of the US Civil War to warn about future wars, this piece takes The Diary of Anne Frank to alert us to the horrors of war and humanity’s endless penchant to demonise others and then abuse them. Prophecy comes to us through many voices, and composers are certainly among the most eloquent.