Union Jack

     English Wordplay ~ Listen and Enjoy

To be Constructed

Ralph Vaughan Williams 1872 1958

JOHN MAITLAND: In Vaughan Williams one is never quite sure whether one is listening to something very old or very new.

Air on a G String
The Lark Ascending
Vaughan Williams in 1919,
                                by William Rothenstein
Vaughan Williams in 1919
by William Rothenstein
Ralph Vaughan Williams was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song which influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, containing many folk song arrangements set as hymn tunes, in addition to several original compositions.

Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, where his father, the Reverend Arthur Vaughan Williams was vicar. Following his father's death in 1875 he was taken by his mother, Margaret Susan née Wedgwood, the great-granddaughter of the potter Josiah Wedgwood, to live with her family at Leith Hill Place, a Wedgwood family home in the Surrey Hills. He was also related to the Darwins, Charles Darwin being a great-uncle. Though born into the privileged intellectual upper middle class, Vaughan Williams never took it for granted and worked all his life for the democratic and egalitarian ideals in which he believed.

As a student he had studied piano,
WILLIAMS: which I never could play, and the violin, which was my musical salvation.
NARRATOR: After Charterhouse School he attended the Royal College of Music and read history and music at Trinity College, Cambridge, where his friends and contemporaries included the philosophers G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell.

The Great Composers


Home Page