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BBC Philharmonic: Discovering Vaughan Williams

Theatre Royal and Royal Concert HallTheatre Square, Nottingham, Nottingham, East Midlands, NG1 5ND, Vereinigtes Königreich
Am Mittwoch 15 Januar 2020 um 19:30
BBC Philharmonic
John WilsonDirigent
Stephen JohnsonModeration

This illustrated introduction to Vaughan Williams’ music reveals
two sharply contrasting sides of his music. In the Fen Country, one of his earliest
works, displays his fascination with folk song, its evocation of East Anglia
tinged with echoes of Delius. It’s a far cry from the ferocity that the Sixth
Symphony unleashed in 1948. Although the composer was quick to dismiss
speculation that it was a reflection on the years of conflict that preceded it,
and the nuclear threat that they initiated, there’s no denying the tension in
this post-war masterpiece whose opening rampages across an unforgiving
landscape. The sense of threat is at its highest in the ominous slow movement
before a demonic scherzo leads into a desolate Epilogue. Vaughan Williams,
quoting Prospero’s lines from The Tempest – “We are such stuff as dreams are
made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep” – raises as many
questions as it answers. John Wilson, a brilliant conductor of English music
and a devotee of Vaughan Williams is joined by broadcaster Stephen Johnson,
who’ll be shedding light on the Sixth Symphony, with live extracts from the BBC
Philharmonic, before a complete performance of both pieces.

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