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
Hear My Prayer - Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Parry /  His Majesties Clerkes
Release Date: 08/10/2000   Label: Cedille Records  
Catalog: 36   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock's Edge / Gilchrist, Et Al
Release Date: 06/01/2007   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 296   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 5, Dona Nobis Pacem
Release Date: 01/22/2008   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 71   Number of Discs: 1
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20th Century Tuba Concertos - Arutiunian, Lundquist, Williams, Vaughan Williams / Baadsvik, Et Al
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1515   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams, Mathias / Bebbington, Ulster Orchestra
Release Date: 02/14/2012   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 246   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Fantasia on Greensleeves

Browse 101-125 of 131 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    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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  • 102.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 103.
    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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  • 104.
    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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  • 105.
    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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  • 106.
    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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  • 107.
    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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  • 108.
    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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  • 109.
    The Last Night Of The Proms Collection / Wordsworth
    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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  • 110.
    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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  • 111.
    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
    CD: $11.99
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  • 112.
    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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  • 113.
    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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  • 114.
    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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  • 115.
    Classical Music For People Who Hate Classical Music
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 62664 Release Date: 07/19/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  George Gershwin,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Pasquale Cardillo,  Earl Wild,  Leonard Pennario,  Géza Anda  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Fritz Reiner,  Richard Kapp,  Géza Anda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 116.
    Meditations For A Quiet Night - Delius, Barber, Elgar, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7007 Release Date: 05/02/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Aaron Copland,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra,  English Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 117.
    Orchestral Favourites Vol Iii / Boughton, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7013 Release Date: 05/02/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Thomas Waddington,  Susan Lynn,  Audrey Douglas,  Helen Roberts  ... 
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 118.
    Ceremonial Music For Trumpet And Organ / Smedvig, Murray
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80341 Release Date: 04/27/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Battist Martini,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Alan Hovhaness,  Jacques de Saint-Luc  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Murray,  Rolf Smedvig,  Jeffrey Curnow,  Martin Hackleman  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 119.
    The Spirit Of England / William Boughton, English So, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5210 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Benjamin Britten,  Peter Warlock  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Partington,  Robert Johnston,  Sylvia Knussen,  James Davis  ... 
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra,  English Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 120.
    Classics For All Seasons - Winter
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80330 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Francis Poulenc,  Howard Blake,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Barry Gordon,  Michael Murray,  Angel Romero,  John O'Conor  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Robert Shaw,  Martin Pearlman,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Festival Singers,  Boston Baroque  ... 
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  • 121.
    Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 8, Etc / Thomson, London So
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8828 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Conductor:  Bryden Thomson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 122.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of The British Isles
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47280 Release Date: 07/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Frideric Handel,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  David Nadien,  Edward Carroll
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Richard P. Condie,  Richard Kapp  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 123.
    Vaughan Williams: Norfolk Rhapsody, Etc / Boult, London So
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64022 Release Date: 10/11/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Hugh Bean
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Vocal Ensemble,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 124.
    A Christmas Festival With Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 6428 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Raymond Scott,  Engelbert Humperdinck,  John Frederic Coots,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Al Hirt,  Leo Litwin,  Alfred Krips
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Arthur Fiedler Orchestra,  Arthur Fiedler Chorus
    CD: $8.99
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  • 125.
    Barber Adagio And Other Romantic Favorites For Strings
    Label: Cbs Great Performances   Catalog: 38484 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  David Nadien
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $8.99
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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. A Song for all Seas, all Ships: Moderato maestoso
II. On the Beach at Night, alone: Largo sostenuto
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