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A Green and Pleasant Land

With William Blake’s famous words as a stepping-off point, we’re traversing the pastoral musical landscapes of the British Isles.

 
Program 1

Bill opens with a reading of Hilaire Belloc's idyllic essay, "The Mowing of a Field." We continue with a piece written by Patrick Hadley on the occasion of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 70th birthday, as well as one of Vaughan Williams’ folk influenced works. We move on to Charles Villiers Stanford’s music influenced by the landscape of Ireland and a pastoral rhapsody from Herbert Howells.

Stanford: Symphony #3 In F Minor, Op. 28, Irish
3. Andante Con Moto; 2. Allegro Molto Vivace
Ulster Orchestra/Handley
Chandos 8545
2:30 (excerpt), 18:58
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Hadley: One Morning In Spring; A Sketch for Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra/Bamert
Chandos 9539
4:21
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Vaughan Williams: Linden Lea
Bryn Terfel, b. Malcolm Martineau, p.
DG B0004216
2:21
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Butterworth: The Banks of Green Willow
English Chamber Orchestra/Tate
EMI 7-47945-2
6:48
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Howells: Pastoral Rhapsody
London Symphony Orchestra/Hickox
Chandos 9410
12:25
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Britten: Folksong Arrangements from the British Isles
1. The Salley Gardens
2. The Foggy, Foggy Dew
Bryn Terfel, b. Malcolm Martineau, p.
DG B0004216
2:13
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Program 2

We open with music from English singer Kathleen Ferrier and the Elizabethan group, Circa 1500, performing "In a Garden So Greene." We continue with Britten’s Spring Symphony and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.

Anon: “Blow the Wind Southerly”
Kathleen Ferrier
London 433475
2:25
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Anon: “My Boy Willie”
Kathleen Ferrier, Phyllis Spurr
London 433475
1:46
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Anon: In a Garden So Greene
Circa 1500
AVS 163
2:59

Britten: Spring Symphony
London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Previn; St. Clement Danes School Boys Choir; Armstrong, s.; Baker, ms.; Tear, t.
EMI 47667
9:19, 8:29, 9:09
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Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
London Symphony Orchestra/Davis; Hilary Hahn, v.
DG 000312136
16:11
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Program 3

16th century lute music from William Byrd starts us off before we move on to music from Mendelssohn, inspired by a visit to Scotland. Bill continues with another piece influenced by Scotland, A Hebridean Symphony by Granville Bantock. We hear a reading of Dylan Thomas from 1952 and close with music from Philip Heseltine, also known as Peter Warlock.

Byrd: The Woods so Wild
Julian Bream, lute
RCA 61587
2:08
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Mendelssohn: The Hebrides Overture, Op.26, “Fingal’s Cave”
New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernstein
Sony 47592
9:02
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Mendelssohn: Symphonie Nr 3 a-moll, op.56, Schottische
II. Vivace non troppo
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Masur
Apex 49817
4:18
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Bantock: A Hebridean Symphony
Mvt. 1-5
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Handley
Hyperion 66450
14:04, 5:27
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Dylan Thomas: Fern Hill
Caedmon 1157
4:01
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Warlock: “O Curlew, Cry No More”
Ian Partridge (tenor), Music Group of London
EMI 65101
7:09
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Warlock: “Captain Stratton’s Fancy”
Bryn Terfel, b. Malcolm Martineau, p.
DG B0004216
1:57
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Program 4

Bill turns his focus to Frederick Delius and Edward Elgar, including music inspired by the sea. 

Delius: Two Pieces for Small Orchestra
1. On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Davis
Teldec 90845
5:58
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Delius: “Sea Drift”- based on Whitman
4. O rising stars!
5. O brown halo in the sky
Welsh National Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Mackerras; Thomas Hampson, b.
Argo (decca) 430206
6:48
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Delius: A Song Of Summer
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Davis
DG 477 7352
9:45
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Elgar: Serenade In E Minor, Op. 20
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Davis
Teldec 73279
12:19
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Elgar: “My love dwelt in a Northern Land”
The Cambridge Singers/Rutter
Collegium COLCD 104
4:22
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Elgar: Sea Pictures, Op. 37
1. Sea Slumber, Song (Roden Noel)
2. In Haven (Capri) (C. Alice Elgar)
London Symphony Orchestra/Barbirolli
Janet Baker, ms.
EMI 56219
7:09
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Elgar: In The South, Op. 50, “Alassio” – Canto Populare
Kennedy, v.; Pettinger, p.
Chandos 8380
3:10
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Program 5

Bill opens with a true British folk song and discusses the similarities between American and British folk music. We continue with music from friends Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams before finishing with music inspired by William Blake and a last piece from Delius.

Britten: Folksong Arrangements, from the British Isles: “Oliver Cromwell”
Terfel, bs. bar.; Martineau, p.
DG B0004216
:46
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Burns: O Once I Lov’d A Bonnie Lass (Handsome Nell)
Davy Steele
Linn Records 086
3:27
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Holst: A Hampshire Suite, Op. 28, No. 2-
II. Song Without Words: I’ll Love My Love, Andante
Munich Symphony/Bostock
Classico Class CD 284
2:21
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Holst: A Somerset Rhapsody, Op. 21, No. 2
London Symphony Orchestra/Hickox
Chandos 9420
9:31
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Somervell: In Summer-Time on Bredon Hill
Bryn Terfel, b.; Malcolm Martineau, p.
DG B0004216.
3:21
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Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge – “Bredon Hill”
Phillip Langridge, tenor; Howard Shelley, pf.; Britten Quartet
EMI 54346
7:01
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Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 3, A Pastoral Symphony
IV. Lento: Moderato Maestoso
Philharmonia Orchestra/Slatkin; Linda Hohenfeld, s.
RCA Victor 61194
11:18
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Peter Maxwell Davies: Farewell to Stromness
Peter Maxwell Davies, piano
Unicorn-Kanchana 9070
2:49
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Parry: Jerusalem
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis
Last Night Of The Proms
Teldec 97868
2:49
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Delius: To be sung of a Summer Night on the Water, II
The Cambridge Singers/Rutter
Collegium 104
2:19
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Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
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Kourtney
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