RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

I like to thank George Pollen for the photo.

12th October 1872 --- 26th August 1958

Ralph Vaughan Williams (born 1872, Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England died 1958, London), English composer of the first half of the 20th century, founder of the nationalist movement in English music.

Vaughan Williams studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and in London at the Royal College of Music under two major figures of the late 19th-century renaissance of English music, Sir Charles Stanford and Sir Hubert Parry. In 1897-98 he studied in Berlin under the noted composer Max Bruch and in 1909 in Paris under Maurice Ravel. About 1903 he began to collect folk songs, and in 1904-06 he was musical editor of The English Hymnal, for which he wrote his celebrated "Sine Nomine" ("For All the Saints"). After artillery service in World War I, he became professor of composition at the Royal College of Music.

His studies of English folk song and his interest in English music of the Tudor period fertilized his talent, enabling him to incorporate modal elements (i.e., based on folk song and medieval scales) and rhythmic freedom into a musical style at once highly personal and deeply English. (see also Index: folk music)

Vaughan Williams' compositions include orchestral, stage, chamber, and vocal works. His three Norfolk Rhapsodies (numbers 2 and 3 later withdrawn), notably the first in E minor (first performed, 1906), were the first works to show his assimilation of folk song contours into a distinctive melodic and harmonic style. His nine symphonies cover a vast expressive range. Especially popular are the second, A London Symphony (1914; rewritten 1915; rev. 1918, 1920, 1934), and the seventh, Sinfonia Antarctica (1953), an adaptation of his music for the film Scott of the Antarctic (1949). Other orchestral works include the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) concerti for piano (later arranged for two pianos and orchestra), oboe, and tuba; and the Romance for harmonica and orchestra (1952).

Of his stage works, The Pilgrim's Progress (1951) and Job (1931), a masque for dancing, reflect his serious, mystical side. Hugh the Drover (1924), a ballad opera, stems from his folk song interest. Riders to the Sea (1937) is a poignant setting of John Millington Synge's play.

He wrote many songs of great beauty, including On Wenlock Edge (1909), set to poems of A.E. Housman and consisting of a cycle for tenor, string quartet, and piano (later arranged for tenor and orchestra) and Five Mystical Songs (1911), set to poems of George Herbert. Particularly notable among his choral works are the Mass in G Minor, the cantatas Toward the Unknown Stevenion (1907) and Dona Nobis Pacem (1936; Grant Us Peace), and the oratorio Sancta Civitas (1926; The Holy City). He also wrote many part-songs, as well as hymn and folk-song settings.

Vaughan Williams broke the ties with continental Europe that for two centuries through George Frideric Handel, Felix Mendelssohn, and lesser German composers had made Britain virtually a musical province of Germany. Although his predecessors in the English musical renascence, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Hubert Parry, and Sir Charles Stanford, remained within the continental tradition, Vaughan Williams, like such nationalist composers as the Russian Modest Mussorgsky, the Czech Bedrich Smetana, and the Spanish Manuel de Falla, turned to folk song as a wellspring of native musical style.

Copyright 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica

Last Updated on 14th April 2003

And now for the Music

I like to thank George Pollen for the following wonderful music, to contact George please (gpollen@polleng.freeserve.co.uk"> Click Here, or better still visit his Website here .

(2931)"Theme from 5 variants of Dives & Lazarus" (Trad : arr Vaughan-Williams). Sequenced by George Pollen.

I like to thank Emily Gray for the sequencing the following piece, to contact please email (HappyMusician@opendiary.com"> EMILY here..

(2807)""The Lark Ascending", A lovely sequenced by Emily Gray

(1506) "Slow Air". Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(1505) "Slow Dance". Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(698) "Pezzo Ostinato".(resequenced July 2000) Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(656) "Rondo" from the Suite of six Pieces. (resequenced July 2000)Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(656) "Quick Dance" (resequenced July 2000) Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(628)Suite of six Pieces "Prelude" (resequenced July 2000) Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(612)"Folk Songs from Somerset" (resequenced July 2000)(March) Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(606)"My Bonny Boy" (Intermezzo) (resequenced July 2000)Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(592) "Linden Lea" A Dorset Song (resequenced July 2000)Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(593)"The Lake in the Mountains" (resequenced July 2000)Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(603)"March (Seventeen come Sunday)" (resequenced July 2000)Sequenced by Reginald Steven Ritchie

(1046)Sea Songs by Traditional arrangement, sequnecer George Pollen This is a large file please click here. for pkunzip.exe

(1030) "A Sussex Carol" Trad, another lovely piece. Sequencer George Pollen

(1027) "Linden Lea" Trad, a lovely piece. Sequencer George Pollen

(1015) "Greensleeves" Trad, a very lovely piece. Sequencer George Pollen

I would also like to thank Gary Goldberg for sequencing and donating the following music, email (GaryG@ix.netcom.com">Gary Goldberg.

(761)Overture to "The Wasps", (I have placed Garys text file within the zip file) another lovely sequenced by Gary Goldberg This is a large file please click here. for pkunzip.exe

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