Ralph Vaughan Williams


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Williams, Ralph Vaughan:

see Vaughan Williams, RalphVaughan Williams, Ralph,
1872–1958, English composer, considered the outstanding composer of his generation in England. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1894 and studied composition with Parry and Stanford at the Royal College of Music, London, as well as
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Vaughan Williams, Ralph,

1872–1958, English composer, considered the outstanding composer of his generation in England. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1894 and studied composition with Parry and Stanford at the Royal College of Music, London, as well as organ and piano with several teachers. Although he also studied abroad with Max Bruch (1897–98) and Ravel (1909), his style remained individual and English. Receiving a Doctorate in Music from Cambridge in 1901, he was appointed organist at Lambeth and his interest in English folk music dates from his stay there. He used the folk idiom first in the orchestral piece The Fen Country (1904), continuing the same style in the three orchestral Norfolk Rhapsodies (1905–7). Elements of English music of the Tudor period interested him and are apparent in his Fantasia for Double Stringed Orchestra on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) and in his Mass in G Minor (1923). His full orchestral works include A London Symphony (1914; revised 1920), A Pastoral Symphony (1921), and the Sixth Symphony (1947). Among his many vocal compositions are the song cycles On Wenlock Edge (1909, texts by A. E. Housman) and Five Mystical Songs (1911, texts by George Herbert). In his opera Sir John in Love (1929; based on Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor), he incorporated the traditional song "Greensleeves," which he also transformed into various instrumental arrangements. Other operas include Hugh the Drover (1924), Riders to the Sea (1937; from the play by J. M. Synge), and The Pilgrim's Progress (1951; libretto after John Bunyan).

Bibliography

See his National Music (1934) and The Making of Music (1955); biographies by J. Day (1961, rev. ed. 1966), U. V. Williams (1964), and pictorial biography by J. E. Lunn and U. V. Williams (1971); studies by E. S. Schwartz (1964), M. Kennedy (1964, repr. 1971), and H. Ottaway (1972).

Vaughan Williams, Ralph

 

Born Oct. 12, 1872, in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire; died Aug. 26, 1958, in London. British composer and organist; active figure in musical society. Collector and researcher in the field of English musical folklore.

Vaughan Williams was a student of H. Parry and C. Stanford. He was a professor of composition at the Royal College of Music (from 1921) and was a professor of music at several English universities. He was one of the founders of the modern English school of composition—the so-called English musical renaissance—and he affirmed the need to create works based on English musical folklore and the traditions of the old masters of the 16th and 17th centuries (for example, his Three Norfolk Rhapsodies, the opera Hugh the Drover, and Fantasia on a Theme by Tallis). His symphonic and choral works (for example, A London Symphony), in which the use of folk musical art and modern devices of composition are combined, are the most significant of his creations. A large-scale quality of concepts and a tendency toward humanism and patriotism are essential features of Vaughan Williams’ creative work. His principal works include five operas, three ballets, oratorios and cantatas, nine symphonies (1910-58) and other orchestral pieces, instru-mental concerti, chamber works, ensembles, piano and organ works, and choral works. He arranged folk songs and com-posed music for the theater, films, and television.

WORKS

English Folk-songs. London, 1912.
National Music, 3rd ed. London, 1963.
The Making of Music. Ithaca (N.Y.), 1955. (Russian translation: Stanovlenie muzyki. Moscow, 1961.)

REFERENCES

Konen, V.Ral’fVoan Uil’iams. Moscow, 1958.
Kennedy, M. The Works of Ralph Vaughan Williams. London, 1964.
Vaughan Williams, U. A Biography of Ralph Vaughan Williams. London, 1964.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hexham may be a long way from the sea, but then so is Leeds Town Hall where, in 1910, Ralph Vaughan Williams premiered his first large-scale orchestral work, A Sea Symphony, a setting of words by the American poet Walt Whitman.
Self-taught, Hurlstone won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where his fellow students included Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. At the age of 20 he was the soloist in the first performance of his own Piano Concerto in London, the orchestra including Holst on the trombone and RVW on the triangle.
Ralph Vaughan Williams was represented in this programme by his "Five Mystical Songs" which gave an opportunity to showcase the considerable solo talent of baritone John Thawley.
Everyone will enjoy the lively "English Folk Song Suite" by Ralph Vaughan Williams written in 1923, which continues to be an audience favorite.
"I took a course in political philosophy, from Plato through to the Nineteenth Century, and wrote a dissertation on landscape in the film music of Ralph Vaughan Williams."
1872: Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire.
efined 1872: Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire.
| Ralph Vaughan Williams included lines for Turner and other leading opera singers of the day in his 1938 composition Serenade to Music.
This first meeting between Ralph Vaughan Williams and Ursula Wood, nee Lock, took place on 31 March 1938.
O Gladsome Light is a collection of sacred songs, hymns and meditations by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst and his pupil Edmund Rubbra.
The music will include includes Haydn's Evening Song to God, Ralph Vaughan Williams' Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, William Smith's Preces and Responses, and Charles Villiers Stanford's Psalm 150.