RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
'Sinfonia Antartica' (Symphony No. 7)
Prelude: Andante Maestoso
To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite,
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night,
To defy power which seems omnipotent,
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent:
This…is to be
SHELLEY: Prometheus Unbound
There go the ships
and there is that Leviathan
whom thou hast made to take his pastime therein.
Ye ice fall! Ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain -
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge¬
COLERIDGE: Hymn before Sunrise, in the Vale of Chamount
Intermezzo: Andante sostenuto
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are rags of time.
DONNE: The Sun Rising
Epilogue: Alla marcia, moderato (non troppo allegro)
I do not regret this journey; we took risks, we knew we took them,
things have come out against us, therefore we have no cause for complaint.
CAPTAIN SCOTT'S LAST JOURNAL
Toward the Unknown Region, Song for Chorus and Orchestra
Darest thou now O soul,
Walk out with me toward the unknown region,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow?
No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.
Till when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, time and space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds boundings us.
Then we burst forth, we float,
In time and space O soul, prepared for them,
Equal, equipt at last, (O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil O soul.
I know it not O soul,
or dost thou, all is a blank before us,
All waits undreamed of in that region, that inaccessible land.
Catherine Bott soprano
Roderick Elms organ
21-22 June 1989