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The Lark Ascending and A Sea Symphony - Philharmonic Orchestra and Barts Choir

Monday March 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Royal Festival Hall, London
£27, £22, £17
Phone for tickets: 020 7960 4200
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. The Lark Ascending Op 50 - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  2. Ode at a Solemn Music, 'Blest Pair of Sirens' - Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
  3. 4 Sea Interludes from 'Peter Grimes' Op 33a - Benjamin Britten
  4. Symphony No 1, 'A Sea Symphony' - Ralph Vaughan Williams

“Behold, the sea itself”! With a brass fanfare and this dramatic choral declamation, Ralph Vaughan Williams launches his first and longest symphony on a wave of sound. He set words by Walt Whitman, the American poet, depicting the sea in all its aspects, reflecting in doing so on the larger questions of humankind’s place in nature and the cosmos, art, and exploration (spiritual as well as physical). In this piece he attained maturity as a composer in his handling of large-scale symphonic form and choral and orchestral writing.

The Sea Symphony is complemented by Britten’s very different, but no less dramatic, response to the sea, in the Four Sea Interludes from his opera Peter Grimes, set in a tight-knit coastal community, where the sea is ever-present in its different moods, sometimes calm, sometimes threatening; Parry’s setting of Milton’s reflection on the partnership of “voice and verse” in Blest Pair of Sirens; and Vaughan Williams’s own evergreen The Lark Ascending. The experience of hearing a large choir and full symphony orchestra live in these four British masterpieces is not to be missed.

Royal Festival Hall
Belvedere Road
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