Sound In Print Episodes

George Meredith

Nature Ascending

Air date: July 14, 2024

The Lark Ascending, Ralph Vaughan William’s sweeping romance for violin and orchestra, overflows with the joy and freedom of the natural world. Vaughan Williams was inspired by a poem of the same name by Victorian-era writer, George Meredith, a literary work in and of itself filled with musical language. This episode also includes Maurice Ravel’s Three Poems of Mallarmé, setting poetry by Symbolist writer Stéphane Mallarmé. In this piece, Ravel conceived of an unusual instrumental ensemble of flutes, clarinets, string quartet, and piano to accompany the sung text. Similarly inspired by the poetry of Mallarmé was Claude Debussy in his evocative symphonic poem, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. Capturing the post-sleep monologue of a faun and his imagined sensual encounters in a forest, the listener is left wondering whether it was a dream after all. Lastly, we’ll experience Lili Boulanger’s sun-drenched Of a Spring Morning, one of the last works the composer wrote before her untimely death at the age of 24.

Hans Christian Andersen


Air date: July 7, 2024

All Classical’s debut episode of Sound in Print will delve into one of literature’s most fascinating mythical creatures–mermaids. In Antonín Dvořák’s lyric fairytale, Rusalka, the title character falls in love with a human prince; however, as a water nymph, she cannot approach her beloved on land. In the stunning aria, “Song to the Moon,” Rusalka begs the moon to tell the prince her deepest desires. For his dark mermaid tale, Dvořák drew on several literary sources, including the novella Undine (1811) by Friedrich de la Motte-Fouqué, and the famous fairytale “The Little Mermaid” (1837) by Hans Christian Andersen. We’ll also hear Alexander Zemlinsky’s symphonic fantasy, The Mermaid, based on the same famous tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Zemlinsky tells Anderson’s story through a series of distinct motives, each depicting a scene or character—listen for the lyrical solo violin representing the Little Mermaid.

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