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 Williams: Orchestral Works / Barbirolli
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Urania  
Catalog: 160   Number of Discs: 2
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Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony & Symphony No. 8 / Manze
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Onyx  
Catalog: 4155   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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Work: Fantasia on Greensleeves

Browse 51-75 of 108 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Ultimate Classics - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000766302 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Edvard Grieg,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Elgar Howarth,  Philip Jones,  Nigel Kennedy,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  George Guest,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Mozart Ensemble
    CD: $21.99
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  • 52.
    An Introduction to Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 2028 Release Date: 09/19/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Michael Davis
    Conductor:  Bryden Thomson,  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Bedtime Beats - The Secret To Sleep
    Label: Rhino Records   Catalog: 77617 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Erik Satie,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin,  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Nikolai Lugansky,  Jean-François Heisser  ... 
    Conductor:  Howard Griffiths,  Yutaka Sado,  Armin Jordan,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $15.99
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  • 54.
    Bear Essentials - Great British Orchestral Classics
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 2428 Release Date: 09/20/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Sir William Walton,  Malcolm Arnold,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum,  Michael Davis
    Conductor:  Rumon Gamba,  Jan Latham-Koenig,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 55.
    Breathe - The Relaxing Strings
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80635 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Corigliano,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Thomas Canning,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Edmund-Davies,  Barry Griffiths,  Frances Tietov
    Conductor:  Rudolf Werthen,  Leonard Slatkin,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Fiamminghi,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    Weekend Classics - Weekend Favourites
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000448502 Release Date: 06/14/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Pietro Mascagni,  Erik Satie,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Christer Thorvaldsson,  Barbara Bonney,  Leo Winland,  Pavel Gililov  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Seiji Ozawa,  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 57.
    Bandstand - A Musical Walk In The Park
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1129 Release Date: 02/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lionel Monckton,  Traditional,  Georges Bizet,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Corps of Royal Engineers Fanfare Trumpeters
    CD: $17.99
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  • 58.
    Classical Music 101 - 101 Famous Classical Themes
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63691 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Igor Stravinsky,  Georges Bizet,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  José Luis Garcia,  Placido Domingo,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Barry Douglas  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Reiner,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 59.
    The Most Relaxing Holiday Classics In The Universe
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17428 Release Date: 09/07/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 60.
    Bear Essentials - Lullaby Classics
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 24116 Release Date: 08/24/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
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  • 61.
    Adagio Chillout
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556783 Release Date: 07/20/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  John Tavener,  John Rutter,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Lisa Beckley,  Konstantin Scherbakov,  Jénö Jandó
    Conductor:  Maximiano Valdes,  Christopher Robinson,  Timothy Brown,  Theodore Kuchar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Principality of Asturias Symphonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir,  City of London Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 62.
    The Most Soothing Lullabies In The Universe
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17352 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Francesco Manfredini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 63.
    Romantic Classics
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 24114 Release Date: 01/20/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Alexander Glazunov,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Earl Wild,  Israela Margalit,  Craig Ogden,  Luba Edlina  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  Neeme Järvi,  Jascha Horenstein,  Sachio Fujioka  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    Bedroom Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000088602 Release Date: 09/09/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Sir William Walton,  Edvard Grieg,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Raymond Leppard,  Heinz Holliger,  William Bennett,  Eduardo Fernandez  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Andrew Litton,  Iona Brown,  Neeme Järvi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 65.
    Vaughan Williams: Fantasia On Greensleeves, Etc / Judd, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555867 Release Date: 07/15/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Conductor:  James Judd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Holidays
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637395251 Release Date: 06/03/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Giddeon Meir,  Duncan Johnstone,  Jim Shallenberger,  Dan Levitan  ... 
    CD: $20.99
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  • 67.
    The Most Relaxing Classical Music In The Universe
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17232 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Erik Satie  ... 
    CD: $26.99
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  • 68.
    Label: Oakwood Chamber Players   Catalog: 5637419179 Release Date: 12/03/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jule Styne,  Anonymous,  Traditional,  Lydia Marie Child  ... 
    Performer:  Oakwood Chamber Players
    CD: $23.99
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  • 69.
    Stokowski - Classic 1947-1949 Columbia Recordings Vol 1
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 533 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Tomlinson Griffes  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 70.
    Christmas Adagios - Holiday Classics To Touch Your Heart
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63972 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Michael Praetorius,  Arcangelo Corelli,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Krips,  James Galway,  John De Lancie,  Emily Mitchell  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Robert Salter,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  James Galway  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Canadian Brass,  Guildhall String Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 71.
    The #1 Classical Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470933 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nigel Kennedy,  Carlos Bonell  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Willi Boskovsky,  Julius Rudel,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 72.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, Etc;  Vaughan Williams: Fantasias
    Label: Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 74880 Release Date: 05/07/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Mair Jones,  Colin Chambers,  David Bell
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 73.
    Holst: The Planets;  Vaughan Williams: Fantasias / Slatkin
    Label: Rca 24/96 Sound Dimension   Catalog: 68018 Release Date: 10/23/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New London Children's Choir
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  • 74.
    For Your Life - For A Rainy Day
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470237 Release Date: 10/02/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Edvard Grieg,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Raymond Leppard,  Joshua Bell,  Iona Brown,  Carmel Kaine  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Sir Georg Solti,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 75.
    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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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