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The latest choral work from Grace-Evangeline Mason, A Memory of the Ocean, will be premiered by Bristol Choral Society under Hilary Campbell on 24 June 2023 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams.

A Memory of the Ocean is a collection of pieces scored for choir, piano and cello (with a duration of 20 minutes), inspired by Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony (composed 1903-1909). Commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society, with support from the Vaughan Williams Foundation and the Netherlands Broadcasting Organization AVROTROS, the world premiere will be presented by Bristol Choral Society conducted by Hilary Campbell, and a Dutch premiere follows on 6 October 2023 in the AVROTROS Friday Concert series with the Netherlands Radio Choir and pianist Hannes Minnaar conducted by Florian Helgath.

Mason comments “Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony is such an important work in the history of British choral music in which the chorus is used throughout as a vital part of the work’s texture and colour. In A Memory of the Ocean, I’ve used the choir as a fundamental surface for the piano to take moments of prominence throughout.”

The texts, comprised of one poem by the composer followed by settings of poetry after Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), are unified by their allusions to the sea.

World Premiere information
Saturday 24 June 2023
Bristol Cathedral, College Green, Bristol
Bristol Choral Society, Hilary Campbell
> Tickets available here

Later this year, Mason’s latest orchestral piece ABLAZE THE MOON will premiere at the BBC Proms with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Mark Wigglesworth. Again, with Sara Teasdale’s poetry at the heart of the piece, audiences can expect vivid descriptions depicted in the music. In this five-minute concert opener, “the image of the moon as a flower of gold hanging in a dark sky is alluded to by atmospheric passages that begin in the circling woodwinds. These are contrasted with deep punctuations suggesting the vast darkness that surrounds it” says Mason.

> Discover more about Mason and her music

Cover Painting: ‘Amethyst Sea’ by Grace-Evangeline Mason 2023

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