Hertfordshire Chorus presents a concert of lunar-themed works, featuring the world premiere of British composer James McCarthy’s One Giant Leap.
Commissioned by the Chorus to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, McCarthy’s work for large chorus, children’s choir and symphony orchestra conveys the spirit of adventure, the sense of risk and the danger of the Apollo mission.
Conceived as a love story between the Moon and the Earth, the text includes quotes from poet Sara Teasdale, President John F Kennedy ('We choose to go to the Moon') and Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong. We get a sense of danger in the Moon's closeness in a line from Shakespeare's Othello: 'She comes more nearer earth than she was wont. And makes men mad.'
In the first half of the concert, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music begins with the words ‘How sweet the moonlight’, his Toward the Unknown Region is about travelling to the unknown, and Barber’s Adagio for Strings was played at President Kennedy’s funeral – six years before his moon landing vision was fulfilled in 1969.
London Orchestra da Camera David Templeconductor Hertfordshire Chorus Eagle House School Choir Coldfall School Choir
Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music Barber: Adagio for strings Vaughan Williams: Toward the Unknown Region Interval James McCarthy: One Giant Leap (World premiere)