The Symphony No. 4 in F minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams was dedicated by the composer to Arnold Bax.

Unlike Vaughan Williams' first three symphonies, it was not given a title, the composer stating that it was to be understood as pure music, without any incidental or external inspiration.

In contrast to many of Vaughan Williams's previous compositions, the symphony displays a severity of tone. The composer himself once observed of it, "I'm not at all sure that I like it myself now. All I know is that it's what I wanted to do at the time." The British composer Sir William Walton admired the work greatly, telling fellow composer Arthur Benjamin that it was "the greatest symphony since Beethoven". Only two symphonies of Vaughan Williams end loudly; No. 4 and No. 8.

The work was first performed on 10 April 1935 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adrian Boult. Its first recording, made two years later, featured the composer himself conducting the same orchestra in what proved to be his only commercial recording of any of his symphonies. It was released on 78-rpm discs in the U.K. by HMV and in the U.S. by RCA Victor, and has been reissued on LP and CD.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Back to work