Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is notable for the full, shimmering tone of its many-voiced string ensemble, its flowing, interwoven themes, and the diaphanous modal harmony by which Vaughan Williams mutates the sound of the work’s 16th-century counterpart. Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto makes a journey from darkness to light. It begins restless and questing, sometimes mysterious and sometimes nostalgic but ends with a blaze of colour, and a mood of joy and exhilaration, sustained by witty virtuosic melodies and lively interplay between soloist and orchestra. Remaining incredibly fresh and abounding with memorable melodies, the Ninth Symphony describes Dvořák’s own spiritual and emotional journey from his intense longing for his beloved Bohemia to the thrill of the ‘New World’ and its varied peoples. Written in 1893 during Dvořák’s years as a visiting teacher in New York City, it is really a musical postcard to his Old World friends in central Europe, proclaiming America as a land of promise, excitement, and heart-rending beauty.