The University of Kent Chorus and Symphony Orchestra
Jeremy Ovenden leader Susan Wanless conductor
Sally Silver soprano
Bach, arr. Elgar – Fantasia in C minor
Vaughan Williams – Symphony No 3 (Pastoral)
Fauré – Cantique de Jean Racine
Elgar – The Spirit of England
This year’s Colyer-Fergusson Concert commemorates the start of the First World War in 1914 with music from England, Germany and France. Elgar wrote his choral work The Spirit of England during the War, receiving its premiere in 1916. This was at a time when the nation might have expected rousing patriotic tunes, but this setting of Laurence Binyon’s war poems instead captures perfectly the futility and desolation of the conflict. The idea for Elgar’s setting of a Bach Fantasia in 1920 was prompted by his desire to heal the rift caused by the War with his friend, the German composer, Richard Strauss.
Vaughan Williams enlisted as a stretcher-bearer and was then commissioned as an artillery officer. He was affected deeply by the carnage he witnessed and by the death of so many of his younger musical colleagues. Upon his return to England he wrote two of his most meditative works, The Lark Ascending and Symphony No 3, reflecting his yearning for a renewed sense of peace and optimism.
Tickets: Full £22, £18, £14, £10, £8
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