The Passions of Vaughan Williams
Fifty years after his death, this musical and psychological portrait of Ralph Vaughan Williams explores the passions that drove a giant of 20th-century English music. It explores the enormous musical range of an energetic, red-blooded composer whose output extends well beyond the delicate pastoralism of his perhaps most famous piece, The Lark Ascending.
The film tells the story of his long marriage to his increasingly disabled wife Adeline and his long affair with the woman who eventually became his second wife, Ursula. The effect of these complicated relationships on his music is demonstrated in performances of orchestral and choral works, specially filmed at Cadogan Hall, London by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Richard Hickox and by the singers of Schola Cantorum of Oxford.
Among the contributors is the late Ursula Vaughan Williams, who was interviewed shortly before she died at the age of 96.