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Andrew Lloyd Webber
1948 -
Great Britain, England
A. Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber (22/03/1948), a British musical composer, born in London. He is the composer of Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, etc. etc. He composed the film scores of Gumshoe and The Odessa File, and a setting of the Latin requiem mass Requiem for which he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition.
Composed in:1984
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:the composer's father William Lloyd Webber
Label(s):Decca 448 616-2
Beloved composer Andrew Lloyd Webber tackled the task of composing Requiem, a collection of movements based on the requiem mass, better known as the "mass of the dead". It opened on April 21, 1985 with phenomenal success and included the vocal talents of Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, soprano Sarah Brightman, and was conducted by the world-renowned artist Lorin Maazel.
A Requiem from the composer of Cats, Evita, Starlight Express? The change of direction is less violent than it might appear at first sight. In many ways this Requiem marks for Andrew Lloyd Webber a return to the musical surroundings in which he grew up: Westminster Abbey. The influence of the Abbey was there and so was that of Lloyd Webber sr. He was an organist, not far away at All Saints, Margaret Street, and at the Central Hall, Westminster, as wll as being a composer of sacred music. Some adlescents might have rebelled. Lloyd on his own admission, preferred to absorb, and the power of the past lingers on. He still enjoys 'popping into evensong' and his main interest outside music is architecture, and especially church architecture. Now there is the Requiem.
Two events set the Requiem in motion. The first was the death of his father William (Bill) Lloyd Webber in 1982 and the second was a story about Cambodia in an obscure corner of the New York Times, concerning a boy who was faced with the choice of killing his mutilated sister or being killed himself. Cambodia has no musical influence on the score, but it did give Lloyd Webber the idea of scoring the requiem for a boy, a girl and a man: in other words, treble high soprano and tenor. He toyed with including a bass, but soon rejected the concept. The choral writing is strictly along cathedral lines, but Lloyd Webber, with an impish grin, admits that it might not always be academically correct - "My father insisted that I should not be over-trained musically."
And now that it is complete, what is his own verdict? "I don't know what place it will find in the music of today, but to me it is the most personal of all my compositions."
Author:John Higgins
William Southcombe Lloyd Webber (1914-1982) was an organist and composer, and was Director of the London College of Music from 1964 until his death. William Lloyd Webber's music has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, largely due to the fame of his sons, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Lloyd Webber.
W.S. Lloyd Webber