Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Sea Symphony

The excitement and glory of performing Haydn's The Creation is now behind us and our thoughts and musical attention is turned towards Vaughan Williams's A Sea Symphony. City Choir Dunedin will fly up to Auckland to join the Auckland Choral Society and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra for a performance of A Sea Symphony in the Auckland Town Hall on Saturday 15 November.

We hope to bring this work to a Dunedin concert hall near you with the Southern Sinfonia in 2015. Fingers crossed that we can get all the stars aligned to make it happen!

Written between 1903 and 1909, Vaughan Williams's first and longest symphony, it was first performed at the Leeds Festival in 1910, with the composer conducting. The symphony's maturity belies the composer's relative youth when it was written (he was 30 when he first began sketching it). As one of the first symphonies in which a choir is used throughout as an integral part of the musical texture, A Sea Symphony helped set the stage for a new era of symphonic and choral music in England during the first half of the 20th century.

The text of A Sea Symphony comes from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.

I. A Song for All Seas, All Ships
II. (20:10) On the Beach at Night Alone
III. (32:09) Scherzo: The Waves
IV. (40:22) The Explorers

Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Proms Youth Choir and soloists Sally Matthews and Roderick Williams

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