WFIT Features


Thomas Tallis saw the reigns of all the monarchs of England's House of Tudor -- Henrys VII and VIII, Edward VI, "Bloody" Mary I, and Elizabeth the First. Talk about living in interesting times!

As a composer, he was so highly regarded that he was able to avoid being caught up in the religious strife of his times, and our featured work this week will be one of his distinctly Catholic masses, the Missa Salve Intemerata, a work rich in Medieval antiphon and plainsong.

Saturday August 19th at 7:30 pm the Henegar Center for the Arts kicks off its Jazz Legends Series.

It wasn't that long ago -- 1911 -- that the race to be first to the South Pole was underway by expedition parties under Raold Amundsen for Norway and Robert Falcon Scott for Great Britain. They both succeeded in reaching the pole, but Scott's party never made it back, dying of exposure en route. Ralph Vaughan Williams was commissioned to write some incidental music for a movie on the subject in 1948. He was taken by the story, and expanded his project into his Symphony No. 7, his Sinfonia Antartica, to depict the majesty of the seventh continent and the tragedy of the doomed expedition.

Antonín Dvořák

Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony, his ninth, showed us how the common peoples' music of North America could form the basis of a new symphonic tradition. His eighth symphony  similarly showed us how the folk and peasant traditions of his native Bohemia could do the same thing. Dvorak was a man out to prove a point. He certainly succeeded on this side of the Atlantic. See what you think about his work on the other side of the ocean.

Was Beethoven's fourth the last gasp of the classical 18th century symphony? Maybe yes, maybe no, but certainly something was afoot, and there wasn't much more to be said after Beethoven finished his last of his "traditional" great works and went instead for drama and passion in his symphonies. One way or another, this week's featured work marked the close of one era.