Leonard Slatkin: Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus

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Leonard Slatkin, Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus
Symphony for soprano, baritone, chorus and large orchestra

- A Song for All Seas, All Ships (baritone, soprano, and chorus)
- On the Beach at Night, Alone (baritone and chorus) 19:09
- Scherzo: The Waves (chorus) 30:39
- The Explorers (baritone, soprano, semi-chorus, and chorus) 38:18

The text of A Sea Symphony comes from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Though Whitman's poems were little known in England at the time, Vaughan Williams was attracted to them for their ability to transcend both metaphysical and humanist perspectives. Whitman's use of free verse was also beginning to make waves in the compositional world, where fluidity of structure was beginning to be more attractive than traditional, metrical settings of text. Vaughan Williams sets sections from the following poems in A Sea Symphony:
Movement 1: "Song of the Exposition" and "Song for all Seas, all Ships"
Movement 2: "On the Beach at Night Alone"
Movement 3: "After the Sea-ship", taken in its entirety
Movement 4: "Passage to India"