Spent an extremely fruitful hour today listening (hard & focused) to the first CD in the Richard Hickox version of RVW's The Pilgrim's Progress which recently arrived in the post. It's obvious why Michael Kennedy rates this so highly and sort of centrally in his survey of the great man's works. The echoes of the 5th Symphony seem to help explain the symphony in itself. Strange to think that the composer was, as far as I understand it, an avowed atheist. Or was he? The liner notes to this version of the Progress suggest things were not quite so clear-cut at the time of the completion of the opera, or Morality as Kennedy rightly terms it.
I'm looking forward to the second CD tomorrow, and a window on the Celestial City, whither, I suspect, we all aspire, whatever beliefs we think we adhere to.