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The Music of Vaughan Williams

1012 of 1170 nominations


The Music of Vaughan Williams

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The Music of Vaughan Williams

A founder member of the Folk Song Society and musical editor of the 1906 English Hymnal, Ralph Vaughan Williams is a towering figure in the preservation of traditional English music. Many of the folk-tunes still familiar to us today, not to mention his striking melody for the hymn For All The Saints (Who From Their Labours Rest), have come down to us through his work. As well as producing a masque based on William Blake’s Illustrations To The Book Of Job, he also wrote the score for the 1948 film Scott Of The Antarctic. Vaughan Williams studied under Hubert Parry, composer of Jerusalem, and despite an illustrious career, austerely declined all honours offered to him, with the sole exception of the Order of Merit in 1938. Probably his best-loved work is the 1921 orchestral piece The Lark Ascending, based on a George Meredith poem and best known for its virtuoso violin passages. Characteristically, this too contains two traditional folk-tunes. His sincerest wish was that everybody should have the confidence to make their own music, with authentic self-expression overriding any lack of refinement.


Your comments

It is just so English. England is the first thing that comes to mind when I listen to the music. The countryside in England - like the South Downs or the Yorkshire Moors - represents so much to me. I go to France a lot and though I love France I always take a CD with me of Vaughan Williams' music to remind me of home.

Bob Ross

Romantic, sentimental and utterly beautiful, The Lark Ascending conjours a musical evocation of pastoral England at it's most bucolic. Wherever I am in the world, I can close my eyes and this unspeakably lovely piece of music transports me magically back home to the soft, rolling greeness of England in Summer.
T L Coltham

It is such a wonderful piece of English music. On hearing it it couldn't be anything other than English. Like Elgar's music the music of Vaughan Williams is so descriptive of England and all things English.
Roger Machin

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My nomination is the garden shed.