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Brattleboro Concert Choir: Beauty Through Tragedy – The Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams & Amy Beach

April 27 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Beauty Through Tragedy – The Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams & Amy Beach

Amy Beach (1867-1944) was the first American woman to publish a symphony,
and was the first major American composer (of any gender) not to get her
early training in Europe – she was seen in her time as a distinctly
American voice. She is often compared to Brahms, especially her rich
harmonic language. Her Four Canticles op. 78 is a sumptuous setting of
four psalms in English, leaning into their evocative descriptions of
nature and music. The Canticles were published in 1916, at the height of
the First World War. Beach had been living in Germany since her husband
died in 1910, and returned to the United States when the war broke out in
1914, writing the Canticles in California and Massachusetts.

As Beach was composing the Canticles after returning to the United
States, Ralph Vaughan Williams was serving as a member of the Royal Army
Medical Corps, driving an ambulance in France and Greece. He wrote Dona
nobis pacem two decades later, in the years leading up to the Second
World War, having witnessed the horror of the First. In 1936, when he was
commissioned by the Huddersfield Choral Society to commemorate their 100th
anniversary, he took the opportunity to address the rising political
tensions in Europe with a deeply-felt warning about the realities of war,
and an appeal to reconciliation and communal action for peace. Dona nobis
pacem sets texts drawn from the Roman Catholic Mass, Biblical passages,
an anti-war speech by 19th century British politician John Bright, Civil
War poetry of Walt Whitman, and combines them into a prophetic plea for


April 27
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Latchis Theater
Main Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301 United States
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  • BMC Bravo SocietyThe Brattleboro Music Center relies on volunteers in the community who give generously of their time. We are pleased to honor the following for their help in August through October, 2018:
    Ella Aquadro, Diana Bander, Gussie Bartlett, Mara Berkley. Tim Callahan. Brian Cohen. Walter Cramer, Judy Fink, Bruce Frank, Karen Frank, Rob Freeberg, Fiona Goodman, Virginia Goodman, Eva Greene, Bill Gottesman, Lerna Gottesman, Freddie Hart, Lynn Herzog, Gail Kennedy-Haines, Melanie Kent, Meg Lyons, Joe Madison, Sheila Magnuson, Cecil Maxfield, Robert Naess, Antje Ruppert, Alison Schantz, Larry Siegel, Takaka Ueda, Zola von Krusenstiern and Windham Orchestra Members.

The Brattleboro Music Center

72 Blanche Moyse Way
Brattleboro, VT  05301

(802) 257-4523