Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending soars afresh


The Lark Ascending tells the story behind one of the nation's most popular pieces of classical music by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

It was composed in 1914, as Europe approached its darkest moment on the eve of World War I.

Classical music fan and presenter Dame Diana Rigg sets out to explore why The Lark Ascending continues to strike a chord with so many people today.

The programme culminates in a new performance of the work by 15-year-old violin prodigy Julia Hwang and pianist Charles Matthews using the original arrangement for violin and piano.

The performance was staged at Shirehampton Public Hall near Bristol where The Lark Ascending was performed for the first time in December 1920.

The Lark Ascending is broadcast on Friday, 13 January and Tuesday, 17 January at 19:30 GMT on BBC Four and is available for seven days thereafter on the iPlayer.

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