Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" is justly one of the composer's best-loved works. Based on a melody in Phrygian mode composed by Tallis in 1567, the Fantasia is scored for a double stringed orchestra - an unusual instrumentation that coaxes out the haunting beauty of the thematic material.

Later this evening, we will hear two preludes and fugues by Shostakovich as well as a set by Bach, Webern's "Six Pieces for Orchestra," and works by Holst, Ravi Shankar and Michael Nyman.