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 / Steffens, Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic
Release Date: 08/04/2017   Label: Capriccio Records  
Catalog: 5314   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Willow-wood, Etc / Lloyd-jones, Et Al
Release Date: 11/15/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557798   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan-williams: Symphony No 2, The Wasps Overture / Bakels
Release Date: 06/28/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550734   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Symphonies 3 & 6 / Kees Bakels, Bournemouth SO
Release Date: 10/04/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550733   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Symphonies 5 & 9 / Bakels, Bournemouth So
Release Date: 01/19/1999   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550738   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Fantasia on Greensleeves

Browse 76-100 of 115 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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
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  • 79.
    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
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  • 80.
    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  ... 
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  • 81.
    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  ... 
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  • 82.
    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
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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    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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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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
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  • 94.
    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
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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    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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  • 100.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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