He was equally at home composing smaller-scale works and with this in mind the pianist Anna Tilbrook has joined forces with tenor James Gilchrist, the Holst Singers, viola player Philip Dukes and Ensemble Elata to present a three-day festival celebrating not only the work of Vaughan Williams but also many of his contemporaries, including Hubert Parry, Percy Grainger, Roger Quilter, Ivor Gurney, Gerald Finzi and Herbert Howells.
The festival opens on Friday 7 October with the Holst Singers presenting RVW's Mass in G minor and his anthem Lord, thou has been our refuge, alongside Parry's stirring I Was Glad, Howell's plangent Requiem and a Gloria by William Lloyd Webber, the organist father of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.
Saturday 8 October features three concerts: the first, Songs of Travel, taking its name from an RVW song cycle infused with good country air, sung by James Gilchrist, with works by Elgar, Frank Bridge, Quilter, Bantock and Gurney. Later that afternoon, Ensemble Elata have fun with Grainger's rollicking Handel in the Strand and Gilchrist sings more Quilter and RVW songs. That evening, Ensemble Elata tackle RVW's piano quintet, and Elgar's Chanson de Matin and Chanson de Nuit, while Gilchrist sings more songs by Finzi and RVW.
The final day of the festival, Sunday 9 October, is entitled The Shadow of War and concentrates on major British works written before or during the First World War. The morning concert centres around Butterworth's elegiac Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad and Elgar's turbulent Piano Quintet, while the final concert in the evening includes works by John Ireland, Elgar, Gurney and Howells and closes with RVW's hauntingly beautiful song cycle On Wenlock Edge.
Dip into one concert or collect the set to hear music that is infused in both the British choral and folk traditions.
|What||Vaughan Williams and Friends Festival, St John's Smith Square|
St John's Smith Square
30 Smith Square, London , SW1P 3HF | MAP
|Nearest tube||Westminster (underground)|
07 Oct 16 – 09 Oct 16, Six concerts over three days
|Price||£12 - £16|
|Website||Click here for further information and booking|