Songs of Summer's Twilight

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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.