Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music

Serenade to Music is a work by Ralph Vaughan Williams for 16 vocal soloists and orchestra, composed in 1938.

The text is an adaptation of the discussion about music and the music of the spheres in Act V, Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. Vaughan Williams later arranged the piece into versions for chorus and orchestra and solo violin and orchestra. It is approximately 13 minutes in duration.

Vaughan Williams wrote the piece as a tribute to the conductor Sir Henry Wood to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Wood's first concert. The solo parts were composed specifically for the voices of sixteen eminent British singers chosen by Wood and the composer. In some parts of the work, the soloists sing together as a "choir," sometimes in as many as twelve parts; in others, each soloist is allotted a solo (some soloists get multiple solos). The published score places the initials of each soloist next to his or her lines.

Source: Wikipedia

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