Ralph Vaughan Williams:
Serenade to Music
English Folk Song Suite for wind quintet
LCS presents music by two celebrated British composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams and the contemporary Bob Chilcott.
Given his choral background, as a choirboy, Kings College scholar and former member of the Kings Singers, it is little wonder that Chilcott has composed many outstanding choral works. His Requiem is a serene, reflective piece with a rich blend of choral and solo voices. Calm movements are interspersed with the jazzy, rhythmic Offertorio and Sanctus, creating a sense of urgency, as the choir builds to a climax of praise. The Lux aeterna ends the work in perfect peace, as the floating soprano line brings us to the final view of eternal rest.
Ralph Vaughan Williams needs no introduction. His Serenade to Music is widely regarded as one of the most exquisite Shakespearean musical settings. A sumptuous opening evokes a moonlit night and the ‘sweet harmony’ of music. Lyrical choral and solo passages depict the ‘concord of sweet sounds’ until the soprano line soars up in a blissful finale: ‘sweet harmony’ indeed.
Benedicite is a jubilant celebration of God’s creation. The spirited outer movements surround a peaceful interior, as a gentle soprano solo voice floats over the choir. The jaunty Folk Song Suite, performed in an arrangement for wind quintet, begins and ends with lively march tunes, while the middle section sets the slow, haunting tune ‘My Bonny Boy’.
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If you’re a Spotify user and unfamiliar with any of the pieces we are performing, here is a playlist of a professional recordings to listen to: