On Saturday 29th November, a group of students taking the module Introduction to the Arts in Britain through English went to a classical music concert at the Guildhall in Southampton. This is another of the trips we periodically do with students.
Perhaps understandably for an island nation we Brits have often taken inspiration from the seas that surround us. Our composers are no exception to this. The programme included A Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams and Four Sea Interludes by Britten. The Vaughan Williams symphony was one of the first symphonies to use a choir throughout and on this occasion it was performed by the Southampton Philharmonic Choir, with about 150 singers, and The New London Sinfonia.
Britten’s Four Sea Interludes are tone poems from his opera Peter Grimes (1945). They were performed by the The New London Sinfonia, a symphony orchestra of 75 musicians. We had listened to these four pieces in class: the students tried to match the music to the four titles: Dawn, Sunday Morning, Moonlight, and Storm. It was good to hear these works live.
Here are some comments from the students who attended the concert:
“I really enjoyed the concert! I was glad to listen living orchestra. Moreover, I appreciated sitting a front seat. It was precious experience which I have never had. I could remind the music that we learned at the classes. I prefer ‘Moonlight’!”
“I have never been to British classic concert, so it was impressive, and the harmony of orchestra and chorus was beautiful.”
“It was amazing! During the concert, I was moved and I had goosebumps! In my head, some fantastic imagination would occurred …”
“The concert was great, and I had a really good time. I was happy to listen to the music. The collaboration of playing and singing was really beautiful. I want to listen again.”