Ralph Vaughan Williams

Biography

Born: Oct 12, 1872; England   Died: Aug 26, 1958; England   Period: 20th Century
Ralph Vaughan Williams left a varied oeuvre that includes orchestral works, songs, operas, and various choral compositions. While primarily drawing on the rich tradition of English folksong and hymnody, Vaughan Williams produced well-loved works that fit into larger European traditions and gained worldwide popularity.
Vaughan Williams, who lost his father early in life, was cared for by his mother. Related, through his mother, to both
Read more Charles Darwin and the Wedgwoods of pottery fame, he grew up without financial worries. He studied history and music at Trinity College, Cambridge, and finished up at the Royal College of Music, where he worked with Parry, Wood, and Stanford. In 1897, the year he married Adeline Fisher, Vaughan Williams traveled to Berlin to study with Max Bruch, also seeking Maurice Ravel as a teacher several years later, despite the fact that the French composer was three years his junior. In 1903, he started collecting English folksongs; certain characteristics of English folk music, particularly its modal tonalities, in many ways informed his approach to composition. Vaughan Williams further developed his style while working as editor of the English Hymnal, which was completed in 1906. His work on the English Hymnal went beyond editing, for he contributed several new hymn tunes, most notably the Sine nomine, the tune for the hymn For All the Saints. The composer's interest in and knowledge of traditional English music is reflected in his song cycle On Wenlock Edge (1909), based on selections from A.E. Housman's immensely popular volume of poetry A Shropshire Lad. In his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, composed in 1910, Vaughan Williams introduced antiphonal effects within the context of modal tonality, juxtaposing consonant, but unrelated, triads. Composed in 1914, his Symphony No. 2, "A London Symphony" brings to life, with great charm, the sounds of London from dawn to dusk. That year, Vaughan Williams also wrote his pastoral The Lark Ascending, for violin and orchestra. When World War I broke out, the 41-year-old composer enlisted as an orderly in the medical corps, becoming famous for organizing choral singing and other entertainment in the trenches. He was commissioned from the ranks, ending his war service as an artillery officer. The war interrupted the composer's work but did not, it seems, disrupt the inner continuity of his creative development. The Symphony No. 3 ("Pastoral"), composed in 1922, conjures up a familiar world, effectively incorporating folksong motives into sonorities created by sequential chords. While critics detected pessimistic moods and themes in the later symphonies, ascribing a shift to a darker vision to the composer's alleged general pessimism about the world, Vaughan Williams refused to attach any programmatic content to these works. However, the composer created a convincing musical description of a desolate world in his Symphony No. 7 "Sinfonia Antarctica" (1952), which was inspired by the request to write the music for the film Scott of the Antarctic. In addition to his symphonies, Vaughan Williams composed highly acclaimed religious music, as well as works inspired by English spiritual literature, culminating in his 1951 opera The Pilgrim's Progress, based on the spiritual classic by John Bunyan. An artist of extraordinary creative energy, Vaughan Williams continued composing with undiminished powers until his death at 87. Read less
Vaughan Wililams, MacMillan: Oboe Concertos / Daniel, MacMillan
Release Date: 04/14/2015   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807573   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem; Stephen Hough: Missa Mirabilis
Release Date: 05/12/2015   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68096   Number of Discs: 1
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Bright is the Ring of Words: Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, Moeran, Finzi
Release Date: 05/12/2015   Label: Magpie (Uk)  
Catalog: 502   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Wasps, Lark Ascending / Seaman
Release Date: 03/10/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28360   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 2 / Seaman, Rochester Philharmonic
Release Date: 03/13/2012   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807567   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Fantasia on Greensleeves

Browse 101-125 of 145 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Eloquence - Day Dreams - Music For Romantic Moments Vol 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469670 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Gioachino Rossini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Narciso Yepes,  Mischa Maisky,  Patrick Gallois,  Fabrice Pierre  ... 
    Conductor:  Luis Garcia-Navarro,  Thomas Füri,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Neeme Järvi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Camerata Bern,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 102.
    Westminster - Holst: The Planets; Vaughan-Williams / Boult
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471240 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus
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  • 103.
    Royal Strings / Charles Rosekrans, Royal PO
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80562 Release Date: 05/22/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Jackson,  Clio Gould
    Conductor:  Charles Rosekranz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Night Air - The Relaxing Side Of Classical Music
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80558 Release Date: 07/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Ottorino Respighi,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Frances Tietov
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Elgar: Serenade, Etc;  Vaughan Williams / Barbirolli, Et Al
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67264 Release Date: 03/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Sinfonia of London,  Allegri String Quartet
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  • 106.
    Best Of The Millennium - Top 40 Classical Hits
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463240 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Cheryl Studer,  Mischa Maisky,  Yuli Reyentovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Norman Del Mar,  Daniel Barenboim,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 107.
    Vaughan Williams: Norfolk Rhapsody No 1, Etc /Thomson, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9775 Release Date: 11/30/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Michael Davis
    Conductor:  Bryden Thomson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Vaughan Williams: The Poisoned Kiss, Sea Songs, Etc
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 2409 Release Date: 05/18/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Stephen Varcoe,  Janet Hilton,  Keith Swallow,  Frederick Riddle  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  Vernon Handley,  Brian Kay,  George Hurst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 109.
    Vaughan Williams: Orchestral Works / Marriner, Boult, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 460357 Release Date: 05/11/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Iona Brown,  Tommy Reilly,  Celia Nicklin
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Queen's Hall Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 110.
    A Portrait Of Vaughan Williams
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1754 Release Date: 02/23/1999   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Iain Simcock,  Audrey Douglas,  Thomas Waddington,  Susan Lynn  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Darlington,  William Boughton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ Church Cathedral Choir,  English String Orchestra,  Medici String Quartet
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  • 111.
    Suite Enfantine / Israelievitch, Sebastian
    Label: Fleur De Son   Catalog: 57936 Release Date: 12/02/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude René G. Pascal,  Arvo Pärt,  Antonio Bazzini,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Jacques Israelievitch,  Stephanie Sebastian
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  • 112.
    Carol Of The Bells - Carols For Handbells And Organ
    Label: Platinum Entertainment   Catalog: 1805 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Johann Pachelbel,  Traditional  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  First Baptist Bells
    CD: $6.99
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  • 113.
    Home For The Holidays / Eaken Piano Trio
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554099 Release Date: 09/08/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Pietro Yon,  Mel Torme,  Percy Aldridge Grainger  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Baun,  Gloria Whitney,  John Eaken
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eaken Piano Trio
    CD: $12.99
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  • 114.
    The Complete Wedding Album - There Is Love
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80490 Release Date: 04/28/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Richard Wagner,  Samuel Barber,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Angel Romero,  Joseph Silverstein,  Larry Cooperman,  Michael Chertock  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Erich Kunzel,  Leonard Slatkin,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 115.
    Fantasia On Greensleeves, Etc / Neville Marriner, Asmf
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 452707 Release Date: 08/26/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Frederick Delius,  George Butterworth,  Peter Warlock  ... 
    Performer:  Raymond Keenlyside,  Kenneth Essex,  Hugh Maguire,  Kenneth Heath  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 116.
    Boston Tea Party / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 68793 Release Date: 05/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Balfe,  Richard Adler,  Will Hudson,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 117.
    Vaughan Williams, Delius / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 62645 Release Date: 09/24/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Rafael Druian
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Louis Lane
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Cleveland Sinfonietta
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  • 118.
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 454172 Release Date: 09/06/1996  
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton,  Gustav Holst,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Della Jones
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra,  Royal Choral Society Choir
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  • 119.
    Nocturne / Leonard Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62617 Release Date: 06/11/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Aaron Copland,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 120.
    Musical Colors / Wayne Hedrick, Hye-yun Chung Bennett
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11063 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Lauber,  Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Marin Marais  ... 
    Performer:  Wayne Hedrick,  Hye-Yun Chung Bennett
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  • 121.
    For Weddings / Kevin Bowyer
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7712 Release Date: 04/02/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  John Stanley,  Charles-Marie Widor  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
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  • 122.
    Vaughan Williams: Over Hill, Over Dale / Stephen Layton
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 66777 Release Date: 11/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Michael George,  Ian Bostridge
    Conductor:  Stephen Layton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holst Singers
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  • 123.
    Romance - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 68459 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Maurice Ravel,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Michie Koyama,  Ayako Shinozaki,  Marie-Claire Jamet,  Riri Shimada
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Eugene Ormandy,  John Georgiadis,  Richard Kapp  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 124.
    Oxford Book Of Wedding Music / Jeremy D. Filsell
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7107 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Andrew Carter  ... 
    Performer:  Jeremy Filsell
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  • 125.
    Vaughan-williams, Elgar / Christopher Warren-green
    Label: Virgin Classics Ultraviolet   Catalog: 61126 Release Date: 08/16/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Douglas Cummings,  Roger Chase,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Alexander Balanescu  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
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Ralph Vaughan Williams


WORKS
Symphony No. 5 in D: I. Preludio (Moderato - Allegro - Tempo I)
Symphony No. 5 in D: II. Scherzo (Presto misterioso)
Symphony No. 5 in D: III. Romanza (Lento)
Symphony No. 5 in D: IV. Passacaglia (Moderato - Allegro - Tempo primo - Tempo del Preludio)
I. Song for all Seas, all Ships
II. On the Beach at Night, alone
III. Scherzo: The Waves
IV. The Explorers: Grave e molto adagio
I. Lento - Allegro risoluto
II. Lento
III. Scherzo [Nocturne]: Allegro vivace - Andantino
IV. Andante con moto - Maestoso alla marcia [quasi lento] - Allegro - Andantino ma sostenuto - Tempo primo - Allegro - Lento - Epilogue: Andante sostenuto - Lento