The Downton Abbey Era
Saturday, September 21 | 8pm
GMU Center for the Arts Concert Hall
Christopher Zimmerman, conductor
Janet Sung, violin
ELGAR: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1
JOHN LUNN: Downton Abbey Suite
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Lark Ascending
ELGAR: Enigma Variations
You are invited to an evening of all things quintessentially “British”— from the music of Downton Abbey in anticipation of the new movie, to the heavenly soaring of Vaughn Williams’ poetic music, to Sir Edward Elgar’s music of Edwardian grace and artistry.
According to The Guardian, Vaughn Williams’ Lark Ascending “…starts with the darkest, richest sounds a violin can make, then rises to an airy lightness, and it has become far and away Britain’s most popular piece of classical music.” Composed over 100 years ago, on the eve of WWI, this important work carries both a poignancy and beauty that are as powerful as ever. While conjuring images of bucolic, pastural landscapes and the impossible beauty of the skylark’s song, you’ll hear a sense of loss, too, of this difficult time in Britain’s history.
Elgar composed his much-loved Enigma Variations to depict “friends pictured within,” but the so-called enigma is an unplayed theme that he often hinted at but never revealed. The exquisite “Nimrod” Variation, performed for the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, is also heard at the end of the 2017 film Dunkirk.
MORE THAN NOTES: Hear the stories behind the music with music director Christopher Zimmerman and special guests before the concert at 7pm.