Marking this year’s centenary of the end of the Great War, we open the season with a programme of 20th century British works written primarily between the first and second world wars. Reeling from the destruction caused by WW1 and worrying about the future, the composers have used words of poets, Shakespeare and the Bible to express despair at war and death, whilst praying for peace.
Finzi’s flowing, romantic setting of two 16th century poems for solo tenor, where man lays down his arms and returns to peace, is followed by Serenade to Music – the serene setting of Shakespeare’s sonnet by Vaughan Williams. Howells’ poignant Elegy, in memory of his friend who died in the war, uses the mellow tones of the viola to evoke despair.
The programme finishes with the powerful Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us Peace). Setting words from poems by Walt Whitman evoking the horrors of war and the hope of reconciliation alongside passages from the bible about war, the work ends with a magnificently uplifting Gloria and a final plea “and on earth peace, goodwill toward men”.
The Westminster Chamber Orchestra will be joining Bristol Choral Society to suitably enhance the evening with their passion for performing well known works, alongside lesser known but equally beautiful pieces.
Finzi Farewell to Arms
Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music
Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem
Steve Kings Piano
Vanessa Bowers Soprano
Nick Pritchard Tenor
Jamie W Hall Baritone
Lydia Lowndes-Northcott Viola
Under 25’s £5.00 including booking fee
Senior ticket 10% discount