EBU Members will come together in Paris on 11 November to commemorate the end of the First World War in a symbolic ‘Concert for Peace’ performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO) and produced by France Télévisions and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF).
The co-production from the Opéra Royal of the Palace of Versailles is part of France's commemorations to mark the centenary of the Armistice signed on 11 November, 1918 in the clearing of Rethondes, in the Hauts-de-France.
The ‘Concert for Peace’, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, follows a narrative from devastation to hope and onwards to contemplation, combining musical and visual imagery.
The programme is an invitation to discover how the great composers, from the Age of Enlightenment to modern times, have addressed the question of peace in their music, and how they illustrated human conflict.
It blends music composed during the First World War (The Planets, Dirge for Two Veterans) or directly resulting from it (Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand was commissioned by a pianist who had lost an arm during the war), with more timeless, philosophical works, like Ives' Unanswered Question or Mozart's Magic Flute.
There's also the powerful funeral music from Wagner's Götterdämmerung and the Agnus Dei from Beethoven's Missa Solemnis which guarantee raw emotions, while the wide range of composers and international cast ensure that the main players in the conflict are all represented.
"Public service media plays a role like no other in uniting audiences, both in times of celebration and in those of commemoration," said EBU Director General Noel Curran.
"The EBU is proud to be facilitating the broadcast of this special concert across Europe as part of the rights deal we negotiate with the VPO on behalf of our Members. Led by EBU Members France Télévisions and ZDF, Europe’s public service broadcasters are once again playing a key role in marking this anniversary of great importance."
The concert broadcast will begin at 15:30 on Sunday 11 November and be transmitted worldwide via the Eurovision satellite and fibre-optic network.
Nine EBU Members have also marked the anniversary of the armistice by each commissioning a song on the theme "War and Peace" as part of the New European Songbook project. There are more details about the project here.
W.A. Mozart - Overture to The Magic Flute
C. Debussy - Sirènes from Trois Nocturnes (Choir of Radio France)
G. Holst - Mars from The Planets
R. Wagner - Funeral March from Götterdämmerung
M. Ravel - Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major (Yuja Wang, piano)
R. Vaughan Williams - Dirge for Two Veterans
L. v. Beethoven - Agnus Dei from Missa Solemnis – (Choir of Radio France. Elsa Dreissig (soprano), Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo-soprano), Daniel Behle (tenor), Ryan Speedo Green (bass))
C. Ives - The Unanswered Question