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Friday, May 6, 2016

Plainfield Symphony closes season with "Rule Brittania!" concert tonight

A procession with pomp and circumstance. The guy on the right, carrying the mace,
is a beadle, whose job is to lead an academic procession.

The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra closes its 96th season Saturday evening (May 7) with a concert titled "Rule Brittania!" under the baton of music director Charles Prince.

The program is a feast of Edwardian English music by composer Edward Elgar.

Besides the famous Enigma Variations, the orchestra will present the Elgar's perennial crowd pleaser, the Pomp and Circumstance march (yes, you may wear your mortarboards).

The Madison String Quartet will be featured in the Introduction and Allegro, which is scored for string quartet and string orchestra.

The only thing not showing on the program and which would thrill this Anglophile would be for the evening to conclude with a lusty singing of Sir Hubert Parry's setting of William Blake's poem Jerusalem, in actuality a severe critique of the Industrial Revolution infused with Biblical imagery and which traditionally that most Brittanic of all concerts, The Proms --

And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England's mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green & pleasant Land.
Plainfield Symphony programs are presented in Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, East 7th Street at Watchung Avenue and start at 7:00 PM. Tickets: $55/Reserved, $35/General admission, $25/Seniors/Students. Info: (908) 561-5140 or visit the PSO website:

The church is an accessible building and parking is available in the church lot on First Place, on the street or in the Swain Galleries parking lot.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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