Britten and Bax

Arnold Bax

Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia was mostly written during the composer’s trip home to the UK after visiting the United States. This work had a long gestation as Britten had problems finding a suitable text. W H Auden was eventually asked and produced the poem in 1940. Britten’s setting was immediately recognised as a major addition to the choral repertory and has since become one of his most enduringly popular choral works.

The poem’s division into three ‘movements’ gives Britten his musical structure, and the provision of a refrain (‘Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions to all musicians, appear and inspire…’) gives a point of reference marking the end of each section, and of the work. The three ‘movements’ are completely different from each other. The work is extremely demanding of its performers.

Arnold Bax (photo) wrote his Symphony No. 7 in 1938 and 1939. he was originally going to dedicate the piece to conductor Basil Cameron but received a commission for the 1939 World Fair in New York and decided to use the symphony for this purpose. It was dedicated to “The People of America.”

We’ll hear both works on An English Pastorale, Sunday at 9 am.

Lux Aeterna: New Album from Christ Church Cathedral

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Robert Bozeman and the musicians of Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal, in downtown Louisville, have released a new album called “Lux Aeterna.” The CD explores different facets of light, through solo and choral music from Hildegard of Bingen to modern composers like Kevin Oldham. Listen below to some clips from the album:

Louisville Chamber Choir’s Official Debut

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While they’ve performed on several shared concerts for the past year, this Sunday at 3pm marks the Louisville Chamber Choir’s official debut concert at St. Agnes Catholic Church. Kent Hatteberg stopped by to talk about what’s on the program.

Featured Album: The Phoenix Rising

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They’re young, they’re British and they perform music of the Tudor period to early Baroque. Stile Antico’s latest album, The Phoenix Rising, is a collection of the former including the 5-part Mass by Byrd and music by Tallis, Taverner, White, Morley and Gibbons. Catch them on tour later this year, and watch their Tiny Desk concert below.

Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs

NPR host Korva Coleman hosts a special Christmas program with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs on Christmas Day at 10am, featuring the best performances from the last several years. It’s a joyous celebration of the schools’ tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols.