A Sea Symphony, by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) - 2. "On the beach at night, alone"





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Published on May 10, 2012

The lyrics (poetry by Walt Whitman) will follow this....
"A Sea Symphony" is a powerful and moving work, with poetry by Walt Whitman set to stellar music by Vaughan Williams. It has a vast scope and a widescreen horizon. However, despite its scale this work is very personal to me. It begins with a literal celebration of the sea and the spirit of exploration and discovery, but soon sets sail for more metaphysical waters, taking the sea as a metaphor for the soul and that journey to Shakespeare's 'Undiscovered Country' that we must all take, one day.
It is because of these themes that I have posted "A Sea Symphony" on my YouTube channel as a tribute to my father who died on Sat 5 May, 2012, and who served in the Royal Navy for nearly 20 years. Bon voyage, Dad xx

II. On the Beach at Night, Alone

"On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future.

A vast similitude interlocks all,

All distances of space however wide,
All distances of time,

All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different,

All nations,

All identities that have existed or may exist

All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann'd,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them."

Bernard Haitink conducts Felcitiy Lott, Jonathan Summers and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.

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