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Bard Music Festival

Program One • Vaughan Williams: Becoming an English Composer

August 4, 2023

Add to Calendar2023-08-04 7:00 pm2023-08-04 7:00 pmEDTProgram One • Vaughan Williams: Becoming an English ComposerFisher Center, Sosnoff Theater,
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Launching the 33rd Bard Music Festival, Program One harnesses Bard’s unusual ability to integrate orchestral, choral, vocal, and chamber works within a single event. This concert offers an overview of Vaughan Williams’s long and prolific career, from his early songs and Piano Quintet to his neo-classical D-minor Violin Concerto and famed Tallis Fantasia, which marries folk modality with Elizabethan themes in a stirring evocation of Englishness.

As a reminder of the way his contemporaries most often encountered his music, the program will open and close with two of Vaughan Williams’s best-loved hymn settings: “Down Ampney,” named for the village of his birth, and the “Old Hundredth” psalm. A set of variations embodying a potted history of English music, this was written for the coronation of Elizabeth II and sung again five years later at the composer’s own funeral.


7 pm performance with commentary by Leon Botstein; with the Horszowski Trio and guests; William Ferguson, tenor; Theo Hoffman, baritone; Renée Anne Louprette, organ; Grace Park, violin; Sun-Ly Pierce, mezzo-soprano; Brandie Sutton, soprano; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, music director; The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

“Down Ampney (Come Down, O Love Divine)” from The English Hymnal (1906)
Quintet for piano and strings in C minor (1903)
Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis (1910)
Concerto in D minor for violin and strings (1925)
Serenade to Music (1938)
O taste and see (1953)

Arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams

Selections from Five English Folk Songs (1913)
“Old Hundredth Psalm Tune” (1953)


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