War and Peace

Watford Philharmonic Society at Watford Colosseum, Saturday 29th April 2017 at 7.30pm

War and Peace

with internationally renowned baritone Andrew Shore

Our Spring 2017 concert will feature the choral symphony Morning Heroes by Sir Arthur Bliss, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and Sibelius’ Finlandia. Watford Philharmonic patron Andrew Shore will be our soloist in Five Mystical Songs.

Sir Arthur Bliss served in the First World War and wrote Morning Heroes based on texts by Walt Whitman, Homer, Wilfred Owen, Robert Nichols and Li Tai Po. ┬áIt is an intensely powerful piece, setting the harsh images of the trenches against the epic heroes of ancient Greece. The texts are spoken by a narrator, rather than soloists, and sung by the choir. Michael Cayton’s conductor’s preview of the 2016/17 season says “Given how well you have performed recently and how well you can take to new works I am very excited to be working on this piece with you all”. We are all looking forward to the challenge of a piece that will be new to most of us!

Five Mystical Songs set four poems by the poet George Herbert from his 1663 collection “The Temple – Sacred Poems”. The poem Easter is divided into two parts. The work is written for baritone soloist and we are delighted that our Patron Andrew Shore will be our soloist on this occasion.

Finlandia will be familiar to many of our members and audience. It was premiered in Helsinki in 1900. Much of the piece is rousing music evoking the national struggle of the Finnish people. Towards the end it becomes calmer and serene.