Pieces chosen give much food for thought about the tragedy of the lives lost and the effect on those left behind. Music includes Ralph Vaughan Williams' 1936 cantata Dona Nobis Pacem, and Howard Goodall's Requiem Mass, Eternal Light, first performed on the 90th anniversary of the Armistice in 2008.
Dona Nobis Pacem meaning Grant Us Peace was written in the vanguard of the Second Word War by a composer deeply affected by his earlier experience as a stretcher bearer in the Great War.
The cantata opens with a prayer from the Catholic requiem mass, which gives the work its title, and also quotes liturgical and scriptural texts along with secular poems; notably by the 19th Century American poet Walt Whitman, who himself had served as a medic during the Civil War.
In comparison, composer Howard Goodall was known in his early career for his film and television themes. But his piece Eternal Light: A Requiem aims for a mood of solace for the grieving. He even described his work as being "a requiem for the living, addressing their suffering and endurance...focussing on the consequences of interrupted lives". The work ends with Cardinal Newman's poem "Lead Kindly Light".
The concert on November 17 features soloists, who are all current or recent award-winning students from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. These include Holly Teague (Soprano), Miles Taylor (Baritone), Vera Khait (Harp), Kevin Gill (Piano) and Darren Hogg (Organ).
Tickets can be bought in advance through the BFCS website or on the door and cost £14 adults or £7 concessions.
The full Grant Us Peace concert programme is:
Saturday 17 November 2018, 7.30pm
St George's Church, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3DQ
Howard Goodall, Eternal Light
Vaughan Williams, Dona Nobis Pacem
Birmingham Festival Choral Society and Ryton Chorale.