This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of composer and song-collector, Ralph Vaughan Williams. As part of the celebrations, the Vaughan Williams Festival has commissioned a ‘cross-over’ show that features eight musicians on stage with folk songs interwoven with some of Vaughan Williams’s well-known works. It includes some new music written by Moonrakers members, Jon Bennett and Jacqui Johnson.
The OXUS Quartet will perform the third movement of Quartet No.1 In G Minor, and 4-piece Moonrakers will perform new arrangements of songs such as The Leaves They Do Grow High, The Turtle Dove, Bitter Withy and other traditional songs drawn from the Vaughan Williams collection (Cecil Sharp House). The ensemble will also play the Phantasy Quintet and an arrangement of The Unquiet Grave to the air of Dives And Lazarus, which Vaughan Williams worked on.
The programme will include brief introductions on the source of the materials and will take the audience on a journey from traditional to contemporary interpretations of ‘living tradition’ material. The opening is in Oxford on 11th June, then in Hitchin on 19th June, and then the festival itself in Down Ampney (the birthplace of Vaughan Williams) on 14th October.