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Bard Music Festival

Program Seven • The Lark Ascending: British Music for Small Orchestra

August 11, 2023

Add to Calendar2023-08-11 8:00 pm2023-08-11 8:00 pmEDTProgram Seven • The Lark Ascending: British Music for Small OrchestraFisher Center, Sosnoff Theater,
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Program Seven celebrates the flowering of British orchestral writing in the first half of the last century. Vaughan Williams was not alone in drawing inspiration from his homeland’s Tudor roots; Warlock’s Capriol Suite is a charming Renaissance dance pastiche, while the final movement of Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite plays on the famous “Greensleeves” melody. Also on the program are works by Elgar, Delius, and under-sung Welsh composer Grace Williams, a star student of Vaughan Williams, who is himself represented by three very different works. Scored for harp and strings, his Five Variants of “Dives and Lazarus” take their modal sonorities from the haunting folk melody that inspired them. Meditative and impressionistic, with pentatonic patterns that set its solo violin free to soar, The Lark Ascending is now in its second decade at the top of Classic FM’s annual audience poll. By contrast, Flos Campi is seldom programmed and persistently misunderstood; scored for solo viola, chorus, strings, and brass, this wordless setting of erotic verses from the biblical Song of Solomon is lush, sensuous, and boldly bitonal.


7:30 pm Preconcert Talk: Imani Mosley
8 pm Performance: Luosha Fang, viola; Bella Hristova, violin; members of the Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; The Orchestra Now, conducted by James Bagwell and Zachary Schwartzman

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

Five Variants of “Dives and Lazarus” (1939)

Edward Elgar (1858–1934)

Serenade for Strings, Op. 20 (1896)

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

Flos Campi (1925)

Grace Williams (1906–77)

Elegy for String Orchestra (1936, rev. 1940)

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

The Lark Ascending (1914, orch. 1921)

Peter Warlock (1894–1930)

Capriol Suite (1926)

Frederick Delius (1862–1934)

Two Aquarelles (1932)

Gustav Holst (1874–1934)

St. Paul’s Suite, Op. 29, No.2 (1913)

Preview of Flos Campi

A preview of Vaughan Williams’s Flos Campi, performed by The Orchestra Now, conducted by Zachary Schwartzman; the Bard Festival Chorale, conducted by James Bagwell; and viola soloist Luosha Fang ‘11.

Message from Bella Hristova


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