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Walton's Belshazzar's Feast | Epsom Choral Society / The Barnes Choir

Saturday July 13, 2024 at 19:30
Cadogan Hall, London
£20, £30, £40
Phone for tickets: 020 7730 4500
Book Online
Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Belshazzar’s Feast - Sir William Walton
  2. I was glad - Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
  3. 5 Mystical Songs, for baritone, chorus and orchestra - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  4. Serenade for Strings in E minor Op 20 - Sir Edward Elgar
  5. Blest Pair of Sirens - Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry

Belshazzar’s Feast is arguably the most exciting piece of choral music ever written. Conceived on a grand scale, it was originally scored for double choir, semi-chorus and full orchestra including piano, organ and two harps. However on seeing an early draft Sir Thomas Beecham commented ‘As you’ll never hear the thing again, my boy, why not throw in a couple of brass bands?’ Walton happily obliged and the result is a ‘cacophonous mash-up of the Lancastrian brass-band tradition, the fast pace of the parlour song, the theatrical ritual of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford, and the sheer vulgarity of English martial music of the time.

'I was glad' has been used at Westminster Abbey in the coronation ceremonies of British monarchs since King Charles I in 1626. This version was written for the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902.

Vaughan Williams was inspired throughout his life by Anglican liturgy and music, the soaring architecture of its cathedrals, the English of the King James Bible and mysticism of the metaphysical poets. The ‘Five mystical songs’ are settings of poems by the priest and poet George Herbert (1593–1633)

Elgar's much loved Serenade for Strings is an early piece in three short movements, written in March 1892 and first performed privately in that year; its public premiere was in 1896.

Parry's 'Blest Pair of Sirens' ichoir and orchestra is a setting John Milton's ode 'At a solemn Musick'. It was first performed at St James's Hall, London in 1887, conducted by its dedicatee, Charles Villiers Stanford.

Cadogan Hall
5 Sloane Terrace

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