The brainchild of Nagano, The General uses the music of Beethoven's Egmont, intertwining it with texts by Griffiths in a tribute to Lieutenant-General Rom_o Dallaire, the former head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission who tried to stop the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
The work also incorporates excerpts from Beethoven's incidental music for King Stephan and Leonore Prohaska, and a choral excerpt from Opferlied. Accompanying the Orchestre symphonique de Montr_al are the OSM Chorus, Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin and actor Colm Feore.
"The General is intended to be a work of hope, inspiration and bravery, one that draws on the very foundations of Beethoven's music," reads a statement from the OSM.
Produced by Wilhem Hellweg and Carl Talbot, the double-disc recording with English and French narrations is scheduled for release in 2008, Analekta's 20th-anniversary season.