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: 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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Vaughan Williams: Piano Quintet, Quintet in D... / London Soloists
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 573191   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams, Finzi: Songs And Elegies / Quink Vocal Ensemble
Release Date: 06/14/2011   Label: Challenge  
Catalog: 72501   Number of Discs: 1
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Songs Of Quest & Inspiration - Cyril Scott, Vaughan Williams
Release Date: 02/14/2012   Label: Challenge  
Catalog: 72527   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Fantasia on Greensleeves

Browse 76-100 of 163 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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  ... 
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  • 79.
    Relaxing Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000666502 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Gabriel Fauré,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Carlos Bonell,  Jorge Bolet,  Andrés Segovia,  Julian Lloyd Webber  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Enrique Jorda,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Symphony of the Air  ... 
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  • 80.
    Best Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70853 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gioachino Rossini,  Alexander Borodin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Henriette Puig-Roget,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Musicum,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Polish Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 81.
    Classical Lounge
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17609 Release Date: 06/27/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Susanna Mildonian,  Maxence Larrieu,  John Holloway,  Hans Otto  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Parrott,  Emmanuel Krivine,  Sir Charles Groves,  Vassil Kazandjiev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Prague Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 82.
    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  ... 
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  • 83.
    Radiance - Favorite Holiday Classics
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17558 Release Date: 09/20/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Charles Gounod,  Emil Waldteufel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 84.
    Greatest Hits - Vaughan Williams
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000491802 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Iona Brown,  Kenneth Heath,  Trevor Connah,  Stephen Shingles
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    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  ... 
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  • 87.
    Radiance - Music For The Perfect Weekend
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17482 Release Date: 03/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edouard Lalo,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
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  • 88.
    Vaughan Williams: Orchestral Favourites [dvd Audio]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 5110053 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Conductor:  James Judd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
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  • 89.
    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
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  • 90.
    Radiance - More Classics For Yoga
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17463 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy,  Robert Schumann  ... 
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  • 91.
    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  ... 
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  • 92.
    Peace On Earth - Favorite Holiday Classics
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17430 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
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  • 93.
    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  ... 
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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    Expanded Edition - Romantic Favorites / Bernstein
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 92726 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  John Corigliano
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 96.
    Label: Slg Records   Catalog: 17417 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    In The Nursery - Music For My Baby 2
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 61825 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel Machado,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Gérard Lesne,  Nancy Hadden,  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Steven Isserlis  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Richard Hickox,  Roger Norrington  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  City of London Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 99.
    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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  • 100.
    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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