Visions of England

Saturday 19 May 2012 at 7.00pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Manze conductor
Lisa Milne soprano

Elgar: Introduction and Allegro 13′
Britten: Our Hunting Fathers, Op 8 27′ Listen on Spotify
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5 42′

Premiered in the darkest days of the Second World War, Vaughan Williams’s Fifth Symphony seemed like a vision of peace. And if you enjoy British music at its transcendent best, you’ll love this symphony that begins in a misty sunrise and ends with some of the most serenely beautiful music even Vaughan Williams ever wrote. The superb British soprano Lisa Milne brings all her operatic power to Britten’s show-stopping song-cycle – and under conductor Andrew Manze, Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro opens the concert with an exuberant flourish.

To listen to some of the music in this concert, and explore the rest of the season, using our Spotify playlists, click here.

Review by Katherine Dixson, Bachtrack:

Click here for full review

…     “The programme was rounded off with a captivating performance of Vaughan Williams’ Symphony no. 5.     […]

[…] Throughout the piece, the shifting and contrasting tempi were expertly handled by the CBSO, drawing out maximum emotion, especially so in the Romanza, the movement in which Pilgrim rests. The heart-wrenching introductory chords virtually wept, followed by an exquisite contemplative solo on cor anglais, the highlight of the evening for me. The final movement delivered a satisfying sense of arrival and optimism, not to mention a delicious melody.”

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “The principals – Laurence Jackson, Briony Shaw, Chris Yates and Eduardo Vassallo –were outstanding, and Manze, a string-player himself, allowed the massed CBSO strings to reaffirm what a formidable force they have become.”          *****

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