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The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams
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Book description

An icon of British national identity and one of the most widely performed twentieth-century composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams has been as much misunderstood as revered; his international impact and enduring influence on areas as diverse as church music, film scores and popular music has been insufficiently appreciated. This volume brings together a team of leading scholars, examining all areas of the composer's output from new perspectives, and re-evaluating the cultural politics of his lifelong advocacy for the music-making of ordinary people. Surveys of major genres are complemented by chapters exploring such topics as the composer's relationship with the BBC and his studies with Ravel; uniquely, the book also includes specially commissioned interviews with major living composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Piers Hellawell, Nicola Lefanu and Anthony Payne. The Companion is a vital resource for all those interested in this pivotal figure of modern music.


'The fourteen chapters take a variety of differing approaches to the process of exploring Vaughan William's life, work and broader cultural and social surroundings, so that the total result gives a genuine sense of 'something for everyone' … A thoughtful and informative companion.'

Malcolm Hayes Source: BBC Music Magazine

'A challenging and a stimulating read.'

Source: Gramophone

' All the essays here are valuable and often insightful … A really fine book about a great composer and a great man.'

Source: Classical Music

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Frogley, AlainVaughan Williams and Nazi Germany: The 1937 Hamburg Shakespeare Prize’, in Christa Brüstle and Guido Heldt (eds.), Music as a Bridge: Musikalische Beziehungen zwischen England und Deutschland 1920–1950 (Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2005).
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Hinnells, Duncan, ‘The Making of a National Composer: Vaughan Williams, OUP, and the BBC’ (DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 1999).
Hinnells, DuncanVaughan Williams’s Piano Concerto: The First Seventy Years’, in Lewis Foreman (ed.), Ralph Vaughan Williams in Perspective: Studies of an English Composer (London: Albion Music, 1998), 118–63.
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Holyoake, Michael, ‘Towards a Folk Song Awakening: Vaughan Williams in Bournemouth, 1902’, Ralph Vaughan Williams Society Journal 46 (2009), 9–15.
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Savage, Roger, ‘Vaughan Williams Brings in the May: Sydenham, 1911’, Journal of the RVW Society 28 (2003), 12–14.
Saylor, EricDramatic Applications of Folksong in Vaughan Williams’s Operas Hugh the Drover and Sir John in Love’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association 134/1 (2009), 47–58.
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Vaughan Williams, Ralph Letters of Ralph Vaughan Williams 1895–1958, ed. Hugh Cobbe (Oxford University Press, 2008).
Vaughan Williams, Ralph The Making of Music (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1955).
Vaughan Williams, Ralph National Music and Other Essays, 2nd edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987).
Vaughan Williams, RalphReview of Six Suffolk Folk-Songs, collected and arranged by E. J. Moeran’, Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society 1/3 (1934), 173.
Vaughan Williams, Ralph Some Thoughts on Beethoven’s Choral Symphony with Writings on Other Musical Subjects (London: Oxford University Press, 1953).
Vaughan Williams, Ralph Vaughan Williams on Music, ed. David Manning (Oxford University Press, 2008).
Vaughan Williams, RalphWho Wants the English Composer?’, The RCM Magazine 11/1 (1912), 12–15.
Vaughan Williams, Ralph, and Gustav Holst, Heirs and Rebels: Letters Written to Each Other and Occasional Writings on Music, ed. Ursula Vaughan Williams and Imogen Holst (London: Oxford University Press, 1959).
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Weltzien, O. Alan, ‘Notes and Lineaments: Vaughan Williams’s “Job: A Masque for Dancing” and Blake’s “Illustrations”’, MQ 76/3 (1992), 301–36.


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