Vaughan Williams, Ralph

April 3, 2013, 7:00 pm

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Composer of nine masterful symphonies, editor of the English Hymnal, an ambulance driver in WWI and great-nephew to Charles Darwin, Ralph Vaughan Williams was a prolific and intriguing figure who was at the vanguard of English music in the early 20th century. This week, we’ll look at his life and sample his music.

Playlist

Episode 1

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5 (excerpt)
Royal Philharmonic/Menuhin
Virgin 61105
1:05

Handel: Water Music (excerpt)
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy
Sony 742563
:36

Gilbert & Sullivan: Pirates of Penzance (excerpt)
Pro Arte Orchestra/Sargent
EMI 64397
:47

Wagner: Die Walküre (excerpt)
Vienna Philharmonic/Solti
London 414105
1:54

Holst: The Planets
Mars (excerpt)
London Symphony Orchestra/Davis
LSO 0029
:46

Vaughan Williams: “The Vagabond”
Terfel, baritone; Martineau, piano
DG 445946
3:06

Vaughan Williams: “In the Fen Country,” “A Norfolk Rhapsody”
(excerpt)
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomson
Chandos 8502
2:15, 1:28

Vaughan Williams: String Quartet No. 1, I.
English String Quartet
Unicorn 9076
7:58

Debussy: Quartet for strings in G Minor (excerpt)
Cleveland Quartet
Teldec 80111
:24

Vaughan Williams: “On Wenlock Edge”
Britten Quartet; Langridge, tenor; Shelley, piano
EMI 54346
9:40

Vaughan Williams: The Wasps: Overture
London Symphony Orchestra/Previn
RCA 60581
8:54

Episode 2

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 1 “A Sea Symphony,” I.
London Philharmonic/Boult; Armstrong, soprano; Case, baritone
EMI 472122
19:11

Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Polygram 445922
14:03

Butterworth: “The Lads in their Hundreds”
Luxon, baritone; Willison, piano
Chandos 8831
2:10

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 2, “London,” III.
London Philharmonic/Boult
EMI 47213
7:07, :26

Episode 3

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 2, “London”
London Philharmonic/Boult
I (excerpt), IV

London Philharmonic/Boult
EMI 47213
:50, 11:55

Holst: Mars from The Planets (excerpt)
London Symphony Orchestra/Davis
LSO0029
:47

Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin (excerpt)
Montreal Symphony/Dutoit
London 410254
2:12

Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Birmingham Symphony/Rattle; Kennedy, violin
EMI 56413
17:27

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 3, “Pastoral,” I.
London Symphony Orchestra/Previn; Harper, soprano
RCA 89827
11:02

Vaughan Williams: Mass in G Minor; “Kyrie”
King’s College Choir/Willcocks
EMI 69820
3:53

Episode 4

Vaughan Williams: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, I
London Symphony Orchestra/Thomson; Sillito, violin
Chandos 9262
5:41

Vaughan Williams: “Sir John in Love” (excerpts)
Northern Sinfonia/Hickox
Chandos 9928
12:18

Vaughan Williams: “Fantasia on Greensleeves”
Sinfonia of London/Barbirolli
EMI 67264
1:01, 1:49

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 4, I.
London Philharmonic/Haitink
EMI 56564
8:32

Vaughan Williams:  Dona Nobis Pacem
“Beat, Beat Drums” 

London Philharmonic/Boult
EMI 69820
3:34

Vaughan Williams: “Prelude to 49th Parallel”
Northern Sinfonia/Hickox
EMI 49770
2:29

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5, I.
Royal Philharmonic/Menuhin
Virgin 61105
11:59

Episode 5

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5
finale (excerpt)

Royal Philharmonic/Menuhin
Virgin 61105
1:12

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 6, I.
London Symphony Orchestra/Previn
RCA 55708
8:07

Vaughan Williams: “The Cloud-Capped Tower,” “Over Hill, Over Dale”
Finzi Singers/Spicer
Chandos 9425
2:15, :56

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 7, “Sinfonia Antarctica,” I. II.
London Symphony Orchestra/Previn
RCA 60590
16:57

Vaughan Williams: Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra, II.
London Symphony Orchestra/Thomson; Harrild, tuba
Chandos 8740
5:19

Vaughan Williams: “Serenade to Music”
English Chamber Orchestra and Corydon Singers/Best
Hyperion 66420
13:29

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 9 (excerpt)
London Symphony Orchestra/Previn
RCA 55708
2:23