‘Behold the Sea!’ Royal Choral Society to perform at Winchester Festival!

July 2, 2019

The Royal Choral Society returns to Winchester Cathedral on Saturday 6th July at 7.30pm as part of the Winchester Festival to perform one of the greatest pieces in the choral repertoire – Ralph Vaughan Williams’ magnificent ‘A Sea Symphony’.

In a programme that showcases the finest British composers of the 20th century, the Royal Choral Society, one of the UK’s oldest and largest symphonic choirs, will be accompanied by the acclaimed Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, soprano Elin Pritchard and bass Edward Grint, all under the baton of the choir’s music director, Richard Cooke. 

The choir returns to the cathedral after two near sell-out concerts here in recent years: Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in 2015, and a Russian programme featuring Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky and Rachmaninov’s The Bells in 2017. Richard Cooke commented: ‘It is always a huge experience coming to perform at Winchester Cathedral and we are particularly delighted to bring Vaughan Williams’ magnificent ‘A Sea Symphony’ to this maritime county. The composer uses Walt Whitman’s evocative poetry to paint a glorious picture of the human experience of the ocean. Is there a more uplifting opening to a choral work than ‘Behold the Sea!’? We hope that this programme inspires local music-lovers to come along, whether they are of the land or the sea!’.

The programme includes Elgar’s evergreen and much-loved Enigma Variations, his colourful portrayal of some of his friends, including his close friend and publisher Augustus Jaeger, the inspiration for ‘Nimrod’. 

The concert will open with the full-scale orchestral version of Hubert Parry’s coronation anthem I Was Glad – originally composed for the coronation of Edward VII. Usually performed by cathedral choir and organ only, the joint forces of the Royal Choral Society and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will create a wall of sound that will sweep down the long gothic nave of the cathedral right to the West door and beyond.

This is a wonderful opportunity to hear two of the UK’s most distinguished musical ensembles perform in one of the country’s greatest cathedrals.

Tickets: £29, £24, £18, £12 (+ £1 per ticket booking fee). www.winchesterfestival.co.uk

See promo video: https://youtu.be/UONIkX-jWbw

For more information please contact: Jackie Freshfield via [email protected]