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Sat, 02 Apr


St Mary's Church

Vaughan Williams’ year in Saffron Walden

An anniversary celebration in music and words

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Vaughan Williams’ year in Saffron Walden
Vaughan Williams’ year in Saffron Walden

Time & Location

02 Apr 2022, 19:30

St Mary's Church, Church Path, Saffron Walden CB10 1JP, UK

About The Event

Granta Chorale - directed by Janet Wheeler

Sophia Kannathasan - violin

Richard Carr - piano and organ

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) had a long composing career, and wrote some of Britain's best-loved music. In this, his 150th anniversary year, Granta Chorale presents a concert of words and music, celebrating the man and his musical legacy.

The concert programme looks at how the Great War of 1914-18 interrupted his and the nation's life. Private Vaughan Williams, now an ambulance wagon orderly, found himself in 1915 stationed in our own town of Saffron Walden. Our programme features up-and-coming violinist Sophia Kannathasan playing The Lark Ascending, in the original violin and piano version. Written by Vaughan Williams in 1914, but not performed until 1920, The Lark Ascending depicts a rural idyll that had since been shattered by war. Granta Chorale will sing his Mass in G minor, composed in 1921, not long after demobilisation from the army. This beautiful sacred setting harks back to the modal style of Tudor times, perhaps reflecting Vaughan Williams’ yearning - after the battle fields - for peace and simplicity. Other choral works in the concert, such as his Three Shakespeare Songs and Five English Folk Songs, showcase Vaughan Williams' love of English tradition and folk melody. Organist Richard Carr will play Vaughan Williams’ much-loved organ work, Prelude on Welsh Hymn Tune Rhosymedre, in the church and on the very organ where Vaughan Williams likely composed it in 1915. And Granta Chorale is delighted to sing award-winning composer Sarah Cattley’s new work for RVW150, O Western Wind… An Anniversary, setting the touching tribute of poet Ursula Vaughan Williams in memory of her husband.

Granta Chorale's concert is part of RVW150, the national celebration of the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth, being coordinated by the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust and the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society.  More information about other concerts in RVW150 can be found on their websites.

Venue Access

You can find further information about access for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility at St Mary's Church on the St Mary's website. We will provide a free Essential Companion ticket to anyone who cannot attend this event without the assistance of another person. Please email to book an essential companion ticket.

Photograph: Vaughan Williams in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1915, used by permission of the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust.


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