Spring is upon us, and brings to mind songs filled with love, joy and dance! Elgar wrote The Bavarian Highlands, a cycle of six songs celebrating dance and love, as a remembrance of a holiday he had enjoyed in Upper Bavaria with his wife. Parry’s I was glad is an introit commonly used in the Anglican church, and was performed at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton as well as Prince William’s parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana. An epithalamium is a poem written specifically for the bride on the way to her marital chamber. Perhaps no poem of this class has been more universally admired than the pastoral Epithalamion of Edmund Spenser (1595). Vaughan Williams’ Epithalamion, consisting of 11 movements, is based on Spenser’s poem. As he often did, Vaughan Williams incorporated the flavor of English folk songs into these songs.
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