GMNYour Arts Network
Home Classical Jazz Opera Ballet Theater World Shop Contests Forums

GMN Premium

 Special Offers
 Best Sellers
 Gift Subscriptions

Visit our NEW! Discussion Forums
(Registration Required)

FREE Newsletter

The GMN Shop
Content Archive
The MediaPlayer
Free Music
Grove Dictionary
All Searches

 Sign In
 New User Sign Up
 Select a Player

Vaughan Williams, Ralph
Period: 20th Century
Home: England
Works Written: 1
Preferred Language: English

 Listen To Music
 List/Buy Works
Ralph Vaughan Williams (Born; Down Ampney, 12 Oct 1872; Died; London, 26 Aug 1958). English composer. He studied with Parry, Wood and Stanford at the RCM and Cambridge, then had further lessons with Bruch in Berlin (1897) and Ravel in Paris (1908). It was only after this that he began to write with sureness in larger forms, even though some songs had had success in the early years of the century. That success, and the ensuing maturity, depended very much on his work with folksong, which he had begun to collect in 1903; this opened the way to the lyrical freshness of the Housman cycle On Wenlock Edge and to the modally inflected tonality of the symphonic cycle that began with A Sea Symphony. But he learnt the same lessons in studying earlier English music in his task as editor of the English Hymnal (1906) - work which bore fruit in his Fantasia on a Theme by Tallis for strings, whose majestic unrelated consonances provided a new sound and a new way into large-scale form. The sound, with its sense of natural objects seen in a transfigured light, placed Vaughan Williams in a powerfully English visionary tradition, and made very plausible his association of his music with Blake (in the ballet Job) and Bunyan (in the opera The Pilgrim's Progress). Meanwhile the new command of form made possible a first orchestral symphony, A London Symphony, where characterful detail is worked into the scheme. A first opera, Hugh the Drover, made direct use of folksongs, which Vaughan Williams normally did not do in orchestral works. His study of folksong, however, certainly facilitated the pastoral tone of The Lark Ascending, for violin and orchestra, and then of the Pastoral Symphony. At the beginning of the 1920s there followed a group of religious works continuing the visionary manner: the unaccompanied Mass in G minor, the Revelation oratorio Sancta civitas and the 'pastoral episode' The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains, later incorporated in The Pilgrim's Progress. But if the glowing serenity of pastoral and vision were to remain central during the decades of work on that magnum opus, works of the later 1920s show a widening of scope, towards the comedy of the operas Sir John in Love (after The Merry Wives of Windsor) and The Poisoned Kiss, and towards the angularity of Satan's music in Job and of the Fourth Symphony. The quite different Fifth Symphony has more connection with The Pilgrim's Progress, and was the central work of a period that also included the cantata Dona nobis pacem, the opulent Serenade to Music for 16 singers and orchestra, and the A minor string quartet, the finest of Vaughan Williams's rather few chamber works. A final period opened with the desolate, pessimistic Sixth Symphony, after which Vaughan Williams found a focus in the natural world for such bleakness when he was asked to write the music for the film Scott of the Antarctic : out of that world came his Seventh Symphony, the Sinfonia antartica, whose pitched percussion colouring he used more ebulliently in the Eighth Symphony, the Ninth returning to the contemplative world of The Pilgrim's Progress.

Operas Hugh the Drover (1914, perf. 1924); The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains (1921); Sir John in Love (1929); The Poisoned Kiss (1929, perf. 1937); Riders to the Sea (1932, perf. 1937); The Pilgrim's Progress (1951) Ballet Job (1931) Symphonies A Sea Sym., with vv (no. 1, 1909); A London Sym. (no. 2, 1913, rev. 1920, 1933); Pastoral Sym. (no. 3, 1921); no. 4, f (1934); no. 5 D (1943); no. 6, e (1947); Sinfonia antartica, with vv (no. 7, 1952); no. 8, d (1955); no. 9, e (1956-7)

Other orchestral music The Wasps, ov. (1909); Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, str (1910, rev. 1919); The Lark Ascending, vn, orch (1914); English Folk Song Suite, band (1923); Toccata marziale, band (1924); Conc. accademico, vn (1925); Pf Conc., C (1931); Suite, va, small orch (1934); 5 variants of Dives and Lazarus, str, harps (1939); Ob Conc., a (1944); Tuba Conc., f (1954) Vocal-orchestral music Flos campi, va, SATB (1925); Sancta civitas (1925); Five Tudor Portraits (1935); Dona nobis pacem (1936); Serenade to Music (1938); An Oxford Elegy (1949); Hodie (1954) Smaller choral Mass, g (1921); many motets, partsongs, folksong arrs., carols, hymns Songs On Wenlock Edge (1909); 10 Blake songs (1957); folksong arrs.

Chamber music String Qt, a (1944); Violin sonata (1954)

(c)Groves Dictionaries, MacMillan Publishers Limited, UK

 Classical News
Festival Preview - Pigtales in Aspen
A pig with hair to make Goldilocks blush and who is more concerned with true love than becoming sausages. There's meat in Gruber's opera premiered to be premiered in Aspen...

Goodbye to Berlin
Claudio Abbado conducts his Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for the final time in Vienna to great ovations and celebrations of a top-rank conducting career...

GMN artists prominent at Proms 2002
The BBC Promenade Concerts for 2002 have been announced and, as usual, feature a feast of musical luninaries, with many of the concert highlights coming from GMN's illustrious family...

More Classical News

 Featured Item

Read more

gmnyour arts network 
 GMN ClassicalPlus   GMN JazzPlus 
Become an Affiliate Contact Us Advertising News Links
Home Register Terms of Use Privacy Policy Information Center Help

Copyright © 1999 - 2001 Global Music Network Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Music downloads, audio and video provided for personal, non-commercial use only and may not be re-distributed.

Fri, Apr 23, 2021 12:35:20 PM US EST
back to top
0.03125 Seconds
v4.0b - - True