University of Essex Choir & Essex Sinfonia
Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 9:33pm
Elgar Enigma Variations 32′
Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony 70′
The Choir of the University of Essex returns to Snape to deliver a stunning programme of music by British composers.
A Sea Symphony is Vaughan Williams’ first and longest symphony. It was first performed at the Leeds Festival in 1910, with the composer conducting. The symphony’s maturity belies the composer’s relative youth when it was written (he was 30 when he first began sketching it). It is one of the first symphonies in which a choir is used throughout the work and forms an integral part of the musical texture, A Sea Symphony helped set the stage for a new era of symphonic and choral music in Britain during the first half of the 20th century.
Edward Elgar composed his Variations, Op. 36, popularly known as the Enigma Variations between October 1898 and February 1899. It is an orchestral work comprising fourteen variations on an original theme.
Elgar dedicated the work ‘to my friends pictured within’, each variation being a musical sketch of one of his circle of close acquaintances. Those portrayed include Elgar’s wife Alice, his friend and publisher Augustus J. Jaeger and Elgar himself.