Tune in on Sundays at 9:00 pm for a wide variety of classical choral music from Washington and beyond — from perennial favorites to new discoveries, from Gregorian Chant to the present — programmed by Classical WETA Music Director, David Ginder.
Sunday, May 1, 2016 - 9:00pm
For Spring Symphony, Britten chose poetry across the centuries, celebrating, as he put it, “the progress of winter to spring, and the reawakening of the earth and life.” Poems from the 16th and 17th centuries (by, among others, Edmund Spenser, John Milton, and George Peele) welcome the signs of spring, including birds—especially the cuckoo —plus whistling schoolboys, and a hymn to the morning star, “Day’s Harbinger,” all in part 1. Part 2—the slow movement of the “symphony,” (which might really better be described as an oratorio)—depicts languid afternoons with longer days and growing heat, and includes words by Britten’s (20th century) friend W.H. Auden; it’s “Out on the Lawn I lie in Bed.” The 3rd part “scherzo” is about amorous spring thoughts, and partying. Part 4, triumphant in C Major, includes a part for cow horn, which always succeeds in inspiring spring-time smiles.
Poulenc: Sept Chansons (Seven Songs)
Naxos 8.572978; Elora Festival Singers; Noel Edison, conductor.
BRITTEN: Spring Symphony, Op. 44
Chandos 8855; Elizabeth Gale, soprano; Alfreda Hodgson, alto; Martyn Hill, tenor; Southend Boys' Choir; Michael Crabb, choir master; London Symphony Chorus; London Symphony Orchestra; Richard Hickox, conductor.