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.

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Performances & Interviews

Upcoming BBC Events featuring The Lark Ascending

The BBC Philharmonic at Buxton International Festival
Pavilion Gardens, Buxton
BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus 2019-20 Season: Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending and Emily Howard's Torus
Barbican, London
BBC Philharmonic 2019-20 Season: Anna Clyne/Vaughan Williams/Berlioz
The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

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