Yesterday, my wife and I were lucky enough to attend a performance of A SEA SYMPHONY by Vaughan Williams and Elgar’s ENIGMA VARIATIONS at Snape Maltings.
Performers: The University of Essex Choir, Essex Sinfonia, Alice Privett (Soprano), Edward Grint (Bass), Richard Cooke (Conductor).
We were MORE than just lucky. Sitting, I claim, in the concert hall’s best acoustically situated seats, for me, these performances picked out – meticulously as well as a wall of miraculous sound – an experience of both works that I had never before encountered. Yesterday, I heard them for the first time, even having listened to them countless times in the past.
Two pieces of English music, rousing one moment, subtle the next. English, but not insular or Brexited. They were universal and healing.
I am not a technical expert on music, but this was what I really felt.
And the music, held in the singing voices, often seemed like symbolic white birds of peace. And the pages of a score somehow became a wonderful white gull over the sea, too.
My last snap at Snape, Oh Whistle and I Shall Come to You –