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, Saffron Hall
, Saffron Walden
Saffron Hall Residency: Belshazzar's Feast
Butterworth A Shropshire Lad Elgar Enigme Variations Walton Belshazzar's Feast
Marin Alsop conductor Roderick Williams baritone Saffron Walden Choral Society London Philharmonic Orchestra
This is British music with serious attitude. In Leeds, in October 1931 William Walton took a huge choir and a giant symphony orchestra, added a couple of brass bands, and knocked his audience backwards. Belshazzar’s Feast is definitely not your average oratorio: big, brassy and shamelessly pagan, it caused a scandal back then, and it can still set hairs on end today. But then, British music has always been more emotional than you might think – and if anyone can find the tender soul of Elgar’s Enigma Variations, or the raw melancholy of Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad, it’s that unrivalled American anglophile Marin Alsop.