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: Symphonies 5 & 7 / Armstrong, Haitink
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 72   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: The First Nowell; Bach: Cantata 63; Mendelssohn: Vom Himmel Hoch
Release Date: 11/16/2010   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 50   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem, Symphony No 4, Lark Ascending / Spano
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Aso Media (Label)  
Catalog: 1005   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Fantasia on Greensleeves

Browse 51-75 of 162 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Vaughan Williams: World Of Vaughan Williams
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430093 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Tear
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  • 52.
    Vaughan Williams: Fantasia On Greensleeves, The Lark Ascending, Symphony No 2 & 5, Etc
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80738 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
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  • 53.
    Eternal Vaughan Williams
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572080 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Thomas Fitches,  David Greed
    Conductor:  David Lloyd-Jones,  James Judd,  Kees Bakels,  Noel Edison
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  English Northern Philharmonia,  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 54.
    Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 5, Serenade To Music, Etc / Sargent, London So
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 16151 Release Date: 07/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Duncan Robertson,  Marjorie Thomas,  Elsie Morison,  Trevor Anthony
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Vaughan Williams - The Collector's Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 06636 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Anonymous,  Traditional,  Henry Walford Davies
    Performer:  Norma Burrowes,  Ian Partridge,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Raimund Herincx  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Meredith Davies,  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir David Willcocks  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    Original Jacket Collection - Eugene Ormandy
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 727987 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Anshel Brusilow,  Isaac Stern,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 57.
    The Best Of Vaughan Williams
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556835 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  David Greed,  Christopher Maltmann,  Christopher Maltman,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson  ... 
    Conductor:  David Lloyd-Jones,  Kees Bakels,  James Judd,  Paul Daniel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  English Northern Philharmonia  ... 
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  • 58.
    The Essential Vaughan Williams / Willcocks, Boult, Bean, Barbirolli, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07992 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Robin Doveton,  Nigel Perrin,  John Eaton,  David Van Asch  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir Philip Ledger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  The Wallace Collection  ... 
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  • 59.
    Beautiful Wedding - Prelude - Mozart, Handel, Pachelbel, Etc
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80716 Release Date: 05/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Johann Christoph Pezel,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Yolanda Kondonassis,  Robert McDuffie,  William Tritt,  Allan Vogel
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin,  Erich Kunzel,  Martin Pearlman,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Empire Brass,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 60.
    The Vaughan Williams Experience / Various
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4696593 Release Date: 04/21/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
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  • 61.
    Elgar: Introduction And Allegro, Etc; Vaughan Williams / Orpheus CO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419191 Release Date: 04/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Masters Of Classical Music Vol 6 / Vassil Kazandjeiv, Sofia So
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 248 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Johann Pachelbel,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Conductor:  Vassil Kazandjiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    40 Most Beautiful Spring Classics - Vivaldi, Glazunov, Copland, Etc / Masur, Koopman, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 447100 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Marieke Blankestijn,  Sumi Jo,  Barbara Bonney,  Viktoria Postnikova  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Kurt Masur,  Zubin Mehta,  Hugh Wolff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    Clair De Lune - Romantic Classical Showpieces / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 35039 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rudolf Sieczynski,  Johannes Brahms,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 65.
    Best Romantic Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15490 Release Date: 01/15/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Lucio Quarantotto,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Byzantine,  Amy Nuttall,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Sharon Isbin  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Kershaw,  Seiji Ozawa,  Lawrence Foster,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5126312 Release Date: 10/12/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Antonín Dvorák,  Stanislaw Moniuszko  ... 
    Performer:  Wanda Jakubowska,  Zofia Kilanowisz,  Lucia Popp,  Piotr Anderszewski  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Herbert von Karajan,  Arnold Rezler  ... 
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  • 67.
    Christmas Break - A Relaxing Classical Mix
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80687 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Harold Edwin Darke,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Yolanda Kondonassis,  Michael Chertock,  Laurie Monahan
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Leonard Slatkin,  Craig Jessop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chamber Singers,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir  ... 
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  • 68.
    40 Most Beautiful Classical Anthems
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 284732 Release Date: 08/21/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Aram Khachaturian,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
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  • 69.
    Musical Christmas Tree - Morton Gould
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 7931 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Traditional,  Katherine K. Davis,  William James Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Conductor:  Morton Gould
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Morton Gould Orchestra,  American Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 70.
    Radiance - Down Time - Classical Music For Quiet Moments
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17649 Release Date: 06/05/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
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  • 71.
    Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia, In The Fen Country / Brown, Marriner
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4428341 Release Date: 06/04/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Traditional
    Performer:  Tommy Reilly,  Iona Brown
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 72.
    Label: Octave, Les Productions   Catalog: 23326 Release Date: 03/22/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  François Couperin,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Marcelle Meyer,  Andrés Segovia,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Baumgartner,  Eduard Van Beinum,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Wilhelm Furtwängler  ... 
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  • 73.
    The Ultimate Most Relaxing Classical Music In The Universe
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17637 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Charles Gounod,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Konstantin Lifschitz,  Susanna Mildonian,  Maxence Larrieu,  Jean-Jacques Kantorow  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Manze,  Antoni Ros Marbà,  Sir Charles Groves,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Cologne,  Netherlands Chamber Orchestra,  Zurich Baroque Strings  ... 
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  • 74.
    British Orchestral Collection / Various
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8502502 Release Date: 11/15/2006   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Bruce Montgomery,  Michael Hurd,  Haydn Wood  ... 
    Performer:  Roderick Williams,  Iain Burnside,  Graham Johnson,  John Metcalfe  ... 
    Conductor:  James Judd,  David Lloyd-Jones,  Michael Tippett,  Adrian Leaper  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Duke String Quartet,  Royal Ballet Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 75.
    Ultimate Classical - Chill Out
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000766202 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
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