The Lark Ascending is a poem of 122 lines by the English poet George Meredith about the song of the skylark. Siegfried Sassoon called it matchless of its kind, "a sustained lyric which never for a moment falls short of the effect aimed at, soars up and up with the song it imitates, and unites inspired spontaneity with a demonstration of effortless technical ingenuity... one has only to read the poem a few times to become aware of its perfection".
The poem inspired the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams to write a musical work of the same name, which is now more widely known than the poem. He originally composed it in 1914 for violin and piano. It premiered in 1920 in Shirehampton, Bristol, the same year the composer re-scored it for solo violin and orchestra. This version, now the more often performed of the two, premiered in 1921. The piece is one of the most popular in the Classical repertoire among British listeners.
Performances & Interviews
- Vaughan Williams and the Lost Generationhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01t1f0s.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01t1f0s.jpg2014-05-11T15:44:00.000ZStephen Johnson looks at three English masterpieces.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01yxdr5
Vaughan Williams and the Lost GenerationStephen Johnson looks at three English masterpieces.
- Janine Jansen talks about Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascendinghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p024nxp3.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p024nxp3.jpg2014-08-12T18:14:00.000ZJanine Jansen shares her thoughts on Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascendinghttps://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p024nyqr
Janine Jansen talks about Vaughan Williams' The Lark AscendingJanine Jansen shares her thoughts on Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending
- The Lark Ascendinghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpg2015-10-23T18:00:00.000ZTasmin Little, Iona Brown and Allan Stephenson reflect on the impact of Ralph Vaughan Williams's most English of works. From August 2001.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b00763ln
The Lark AscendingTasmin Little, Iona Brown and Allan Stephenson reflect on the impact of Ralph Vaughan Williams's most English of works. From August 2001.