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Vaughan Williams: 150th Anniversary with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Tuesday May 3, 2022 at 19:30
Barbican Hall, London
£45, £35, £25, £18, £15, £12, £10
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  1. Overture, from The Wasps - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  2. Norfolk Rhapsody No 1 - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  3. Fantasia (Quasi Variazione) on the Old 104th Psalm Tune, for chorus, piano and orchestra - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  4. Symphony No 1, 'A Sea Symphony' - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Vivid depictions of the sea, hummable folk tunes, and lavish musical forces: the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Choir celebrate 150 years since Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth.

The RPO take off with Vaughan Williams’s Overture to The Wasps, an early nod to both folk music and Ravel, both huge influences on his writing. We then journey to East Anglia, and his vivid depiction of the Norfolk coastline. Pianist Mark Bebbington ends the first half with a flourish, taking centre stage as soloist in one of Vaughan Williams’s more unusual works: Fantasia on the Old 104th Psalm Tune.

And in its full and mighty force, the well-loved restless, capricious and majestic Sea Symphony is led by star soloists Roderick Williams and Sophie Bevan. In the choir’s 2016 performance of Dona nobis pacem here, the Guardian said their ‘handling of the Vaughan Williams… was an achievement of which it can be proud’. Under the baton of Hilary Davan Wetton once again, this will be a deserved celebration of the ground-breaking composer.

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