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The Sea: Vaughan Williams' Siren Call

Sunday, March 18, 2018 3:00PM
Mead Theatre - Schuster Center

The Sea: Vaughan Williams' Siren Call
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VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Fantasia on Greensleeves

NEAL GITTLEMAN conductor, presenter

The unique Classical Connections format features musical examples and explanation by DPO Artistic Director Neal Gittleman, followed by a performance of the entire composition. Directly following is a casual Q&A and an Ice Cream Social with a free scoop of Graeter's.

The third Dayton Philharmonic Connections Concert of the season certainly focuses on one of The Great Ones with British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. First premiered in 1910, A Sea Symphony was the first of the composer’s nine symphonies. Vaughan Williams set the music to verses within Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Perhaps the composer was drawn to this collection of poems that celebrated not just life but humanity.

Vaughan Williams was of a similar mind in that he believed that music was for everyone. He worked to unearth and resurrect the body of English music. He didn’t want to “look to Germany” and its composers for music; he sought to find the music of his country and bring it into the 20th century. And that he did; Vaughan Williams spent his career as a beloved and key British composer. He had one of the longest creative spans in musical history, composing well into his eighties . . . a 66-year period of productivity. At his death, his ashes were interred in Westminster Abbey near Henry Purcell.