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Walton Belshazzar’s Feast
First performed in 1931 Belshazzar’s Feast is undoubtedly one of the most exhilarating works in the choral repertoire, loved by both audience and those involved in its performance.
In the space of single movement lasting just under 40 minutes it packs in an earthy portrayal of pagan revels, violent retribution and triumphant jubilation, all vividly realised through the colourful choral and orchestral writing, edgy jazz-influenced rhythms and sparkling harmony.
Despite its impeccable biblical credentials, the Church of England initially considered it unsuitable for performance in cathedrals, and the Three Choirs Festival forbade it until 1957!
Please do listen this excellent performance from the 2012 BBC Proms on YouTube, but we insist that a live version is considerably better!
Vaughan Williams Toward the Unknown Region
To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams we will be performing Toward the Unknown Region.
At its first performance in Leeds in 1907, fourteen years prior to the premiere of Belshazzar’s Feast, it made an immediate impression on the public and the critics alike, identifying the composer as a new and important voice in English music. The work’s enduring success stems from its remarkable marriage of music and text, the unmistakable quality of Vaughan Williams’ inspired music perfectly encapsulating Walt Whitman’s noble, humanistic aspirations.
Stanford Songs of the Fleet
Like the other two works in this programme, Charles Villiers Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet received its premiere at the Leeds Musical Festival, this time in 1910. It sets five poems by Sir Henry Newbolt, having three slower numbers interspersed with two livelier ones. The last of these is The Little Admiral, which has a distinctly comical element to it, before leading into the stirring and solemn final movement, Farewell.
Conductor: Geraint Bowen
Photo credit: Karen Friedman
Tickets from only £10 (unreserved). Up to 2 children under 16 will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Parties of 10 or more receive a group discount of 10%.