The second piece I’d like to mention for the concert on Sunday is Serenade to Music by Vaughan Williams. I’ve been putting this one off merely because out of the three, it is my least favorite. So, as I have little praise to give it, I’ll just give some facts and move on.
This is a setting of Act V, Scene I of The Merchant of Venice. Vaughan Williams actually notes the names of people he wrote to sing each part in the printed copy and when they sing is noted by their initials throughout the piece (leading many choir folk who don’t read the copy wondering what musicaly notation “W.W.” means).
There are a plethora of soloists throughout this, with the whole chorus singing at appropriate places, but that can be chosen arbitrarily by the conductor. In this case, I think he has chosen wisely. I also think a great many folks will enjoy this song if for nothing else than the text it derives inspiration from.