A Sea Symphony Epic Masterwork by Vaughan Williams

Arts & Culture

On Friday, February 10, and Saturday February 11, the 100+ voices of Key Chorale, guest artists Jamal Sarikoki, Suzanne Karpov, and the Key Chorale orchestra will present “A Sea Symphony” Masterwork by Vaughan Williams. The chorus, orchestra and soloists will sing of ships and their captains, wind and waves, the voyage of every human soul, and music so vivid you can almost taste the sea spray in the air. Vaughan Williams’ setting of Walt Whitman’s poetry from Leaves of Grass and Passage to India elicit thrilling viscerality in its climactic vision of the individual soul sailing forth ‘for the deep waters only, where mariner has not yet dared to go.’ This large-scale symphony was one of the first to incorporate choir throughout the work and is considered one of the mightiest first symphonies ever composed. The 6 years of this symphony’s creation also charted the composer’s parallel journey of self-discovery musically and spiritually. Vaughan Williams had been searching for poetry that transcended the dusty Victorian verse of the day, and immediately recognized American poet Walt Whitman as that unique voice for which he was searching. A great deal of inspiration came to the composer by way of the spiritual mysticism of Walt Whitman’s writing and the metrical freedom and visionary qualities of his poetry. Since its premier in 1910, “A Sea Symphony” has become the benchmark to measure the expertise of great choruses. This work requires a choir able to meet the inherit technical challenges while expressing the powerful depth of emotion within the piece, an orchestra able to play a very difficult and beautiful score, and soloists who can soar to the heavens and take all of us with them. Come an experience all of this and so much more. Ticket buyers are welcome to join us for a special presentation titled “Sea Change” by Mote Marine President & CEO, Dr. Michael P. Crosby, one hour before each concert. Dr. Crosby will reflect on the importance of the sea as he shares Mote’s mission, its groundbreaking research, ocean conservation, education and plans for its exciting future with Oceans for All. The performances will take place at the Church of the Palms: Friday, February 10, 7:30 PM; Saturday, February 11, 4:00 PM. Tickets are $35-$45. For tickets, go to keychorale.org or call the box office at 941-552-8768.

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