On 12 October, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s 150th birthday, members of the S&B team were thrilled to be invited to a recital and reception held at LSO St Luke’s, London. This notable occasion marked the beginning of a year-long celebration of the life and work of the composer, and the amalgamation of the RVW Trust and the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust into the new Vaughan Williams Foundation. It was also a huge pleasure for us to support composer Sarah Cattley, whose new song cycle A Square and Candle-Lighted Boat, jointly commissioned by Music at Paxton and Thaxted Festivals for performance by baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Susie Allan in July 2022, was given its London premiere by the same duo at this flagship event.
Sarah was there, of course, and was understandably on cloud nine throughout! There were around 120 people in attendance, and the composer was given a very enthusiastic and thoroughly well-deserved reception when she went up on stage afterwards (see picture above), with numerous people lining up to congratulate her at the end of the evening.
The performance also just happened to coincide with the publication of the song cycle by Stainer & Bell (!) and you can find more information about the songs here.
“A Square and Candle-Lighted Boat was co-commissioned by the 2022 Music at Paxton and Thaxted Festivals, and supported by the RVW Trust, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams. It was first performed by Roderick Williams (baritone) and Susie Allan (piano) at Thaxted Parish Church on 2 July 2022. The same performers gave the Scottish premiere on 22 July in the Picture Gallery of Paxton House, and the London premiere at LSO St Luke’s, on 12 October 2022, as part of the launch of the RVW150 celebrations.”