-Richard Taruskin, The Oxford History of Western Music, Vol. 4: Music in the Early Twentieth Century, 471
As a side result of writing a dissertation on Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, I have become absolutely fascinated with responses to the First World War. Richard Taruskin, as he so often does, hits the nail on the head with this eloquent little line. How could the world cope with what was unquestionably its greatest tragedy to date? How could optimism and faith thrive when so many were dead?