Songs of Summer's Twilight

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Sunday, September 02, 2012

Labor Day is upon us, and The Choral Mix is ready for the celebration. Whether you're firing up the grill or parading, we help you bid farewell to the hot summer months. This week's show features works by Beethoven, Charles Parry and Frederick Delius.

Scored for a capella choir, Charles Parry's Songs of Farewell opens the show. For this glorious work, Parry selected texts by luminaries such as John Donne, George Herbert, Robert Herrick and Henry Vaughan. He composed this set of six songs during World War I, just two years before his death, and it remains among his most celebrated works. We hear the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge under the direction of Robert Marlowe.

Most fitting for the holiday, Beethoven's Meeresstille und Gl├╝ckliche Fahrt, Op. 112 both bids farewell and looks to ahead to a future journey. Like Parry, Beethoven looked to a beloved poet, Goethe, to create his musical setting of refection and optimism. Scored for full chorus and orchestra, the tranquil opening depicts the stillness of a calm sea, and after much anticipation, a joyous ending emerges as the wind propels the sailor on his journey. We hear the Collegium Musicum 90 led by Richard Hickox in a stunning performance of this work.

Also on this week's adieu to summer, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with Songs of Farwell by Frederick Delius.

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Comments [3]

DK

This sounds like a lovely program.
Unfortunately, I couldn't listen to it at the usual broadcast times.
Will you be making it available in the archives for listening?
Please do.

Thanks.

Sep. 08 2012 09:34 AM
Michael Bacon from Jersey City

I too was very interested to hear the Parry last Sunday. It made me think that you might consider a sort of series on the music of and after the Great War. My father fought in the American Expeditionary Force and I have memory of how difficult it was for him to talk of it. Its centenary is coming up.
The most enduring work from it is of course the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The Great War is still largely ignored, likely because of its incomprehensible brutality. Its lingering effects are still not well understood. Certainly it put an end to a hopeful, progressive era.
Thanks to you for your good work. A faithful listener, Michael

Sep. 05 2012 08:16 AM
Doug Purcell from Hell's Kitchen, NY

Dear Kent,

Thank you so much for sharing the Parry. I was not familiar at all with this magnificent piece, and listened with rapt attention to the stunning performance. What a wonderful way to end a picture perfect Labor Day weekend. I usually catch the repeat of the program on Sunday evening, and listen to your great selections as I unwind and prepare to drift off to sleep.

Sep. 02 2012 11:45 PM

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