Ralph Vaughan Williams

(1872-1958)

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Vaughan Williams' music is often considered an epitome of Englishness, and there is considerable truth in this - his use of English folk-songs and harmonic and melodic devices inspired by them is an important part of his music.

However, his style is by no means provincial or parochial - he also studied under the French Impressionist master Ravel, absorbing and adapting much of his thinking on harmony - and there is certainly much more to him than Peter Warlock's unkind comment about music that 'sounds like a cow looking over a gate' would suggest.

From his nine mighty symphonies (spanning more than five decades) to choral works both large and small, not to mention numerous song cycles, concertos, operas and film scores, Vaughan Williams could turn his hand with success to almost any musical genre.


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