Fingals Cave on the Scottish Isle of Staffa
Date: Saturday 9 June 2007, 8:00 pm
Venue: Christ Church Cathedral
Conductor: Ciarán Crilly
Leader: Aveen O'Reilly

Composer Piece
Borodin In the Steppes of Central Asia
Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis
Mendelssohn The Hebrides Op. 26 (Fingal's Cave)
Dvorvák Symphony No 8 in G Major, Op. 88

Borodin's " In the Steppes of Central Asia" was written for jubilee of Tsar Alexander II, to accompany a historical tableau that would be part of the festivities. It has a charm which has earned it a popularity far beyond its composer's modest ambitions. Revival of interest in folk music and music of the Tudor era the golden age of English music was well established when Ralph Vaughan Williams received a commission from the prestigious Three Choirs Festival for an orchestral work to be performed in the Autumn of 1910 in Gloucester Cathedral. As Music Editor of the English Hymnal (1904-6) he had discovered Tallis fine settings of metrical psalms for the first archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Parker. Vaughan Williams had included two of them in the English Hymnal, one, the famous Tallis Canon, the other, set on the Phrygian mode. It was this tune that he chose as the basis for the fulfillment of the commission and the result has become one of his most popular and enduring works, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Mendelssohn wrote the concert overture The Hebrides(Fingal's Cave) in 1830, The work was inspired by visits he made to Scotland around the end of the 1820s. The Hebrides Overture is a wonderfully pictorial evocation of the serenity of the islands and the drama of the sea around them. The picture above is of Fingals Cave on the Scottish Isle of Staffa. Antonín Dvorák's Symphony No. 8 in G Major, is sometimes overshadowed in popularity by the composers 9th Symphony (From the New World), but this work, a walk through the Bohemian countryside, represents the best of optimistic late 19th century symphonic writing.