Music of Vaughan Williams

Music of Vaughan Williams

Sat. 25th March 2017

The Music Society choir presents a programme of works by the British composer Vaughan Williams including a first performance in the North West of "The Garden of Proserpine", a choral work for soprano soloist, chorus and full orchestra.

Music of Vaughan Williams

Vaughan Williams is among the best-known British composers, noted for his wide range of moods, from stormy and impassioned to tranquil, from mysterious to exuberant. His vocal works include hymns, folk-song arrangements and large-scale choral pieces, two of which are to be performed by the Society choir.

Dona nobis pacem was written and first performed in 1936 to mark the centenary of the Huddersfield Choral Society. Vaughan Williams produced his plea for peace by referring to recent wars during the growing fears of a new one. His texts were taken from the Mass, three poems by Walt Whitman, a political speech, and sections of the Bible.

The orchestral work In the Fen Country evokes feelings of traversing East Anglia's often bleak Fen landscape, illustrated by the solo opening melody, then wide open spaces as portrayed by sweeping string orchestral textures, with a melodic language strongly reminiscent of English folksong. 

The Garden of Proserpine was written when Vaughan-Willaims was only 27 and was his first attempt at a large-scale work for soprano soloist, chorus and full orchestra. It is an impressive achievement: a combination of radiance and nobility that is so characteristic of this composer in his later works. Unpublished and unperformed until 2011, it receives a rare performance in the North West in this concert, and its first in the City of Chester.


  • The Garden of Proserpine
  • In the Fen country 
  • Dona nobis pacem


  • Alison Pearce - soprano 
  • Peter Edge - baritone
  • Liverpool Sinfonia
  • Graham Jordan Ellis - conductor 

Venue: Chester Cathedral, 19:30, Saturday 25th March 2017.

Tickets: £20, £14 (Nave: numbered, reserved): £7 (Aisles, numbered, restricted view).

Concert tickets may be obtained in advance from the Chester Cathedral Ticket Desk at (tel. 01244 500959). An online £1 booking fee applies.

For information about prices, concessions and group discounts contact Choir Tickets.

Tickets are also available on the door on concert day.

Chester Music Society reserves the right to alter or cancel programmes without notice.