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Donald Macleod explains how wartime experiences never Vaughan Williams and deeply influenced much of his work. Plus a musical response to Scott's expedition to the South Pole.

War sees the nationalist in Vaughan Williams character come to the fore. He finds and opportunity to serve his country as an ambulance orderly, and later as Director of Music to the First Army of the British Expeditionary Force in France. Harrowing war-time experiences would never leave him, and deeply influenced much of his work.

Plus Donald Macleod explores the composer's strong personal response to another key moment of the early twentieth century, Scott's ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, which inspired one of the many successful film scores Vaughan Williams produced.

Main Titles (Scott of the Antarctic)
BBC Philharmonic
Rumon Gamba, conductor

Ice floes (Scott of the Antarctic)
BBC Philharmonic
Rumon Gamba, conductor

Pastoral Symphony (Symphony No 3) (1st movement: molto moderato)
Hallé Orchestra
Mark Elder, director

The Lark Ascending
Tasmin Little, violin
BBC Smyphony Orchestra
Andrew Davis, conductor

String Quartet No 2 (Prelude: Allegro appassionato)
The Nash Ensemble:
Marianne Thorsen, violin
Elizabeth Wexler, violin
Lawrence Power, viola
Paul Watkins, cello.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Scott of the Antarctic - main titles

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Rumon Gamba.
    • Chandos:CHAN 105293.
    • Chandos.
    • 1.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Scott of the Antarctic - Ice floes

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Rumon Gamba.
    • Chandos:CHAN 105293.
    • Chandos.
    • 6.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Pastoral symphony - molto moderato

    Singer: Sarah Fox. Orchestra: Hallé. Conductor: Sir Mark Elder.
    • Halle CD HLL 7540.
    • Halle.
    • 2.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    The lark ascending

    Performer: Tasmin Little. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis.
    • TELDEC : 9031-73127-2.
    • TELDEC.
    • 6.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Quartet no. 2 In A minor - Prelude: Allegro appassionato

    Performer: Marianne Thorsen. Performer: Elizabeth Wexler. Performer: Lawrence Power. Performer: Paul Watkins. Ensemble: Nash Ensemble.
    • HYPERION : CDA-67313.
    • HYPERION.
    • 15.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Dona nobis pacem - extracts

    Singer: Matthew Brook. Choir: Bach Choir.. Orchestra: Bournemouth S O. Conductor: David Hill. Singer: Christina Pier.
    • NAXOS : 8.-572424.
    • NAXOS.
    • 6.

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