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A local man - Gloucestershire

Ralph Vaughan Williams only lived in Gloucestershire as an infant, but the county was always important to him. Donald Macleod looks at how one place framed the events of his life.

Ralph Vaughan Williams was a composer with a self-consciously national voice, who nonetheless believed passionately in the importance of localism. Indeed, he saw healthy music-making in each community as the ultimate source of national musical vitality, and longed for a time when every major town in Britain would have its own orchestra. His respect for folk music and well-known use of traditional melodies reflected a strong response to places, and the people he met there. This week, Donald examines five key locations which were significant throughout the composer's life.

Although he was born in Gloucestershire, Vaughan Williams only lived there for a few years and barely remembered his infancy in Down Ampney. Nevertheless it continued to be a significant locus for him throughout his life, particularly due to his close relationship with the Three Choirs Festival. Several important works were written for or inspired by the county and Cathedral, including his ground-breaking Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

Down Ampney (Come down, O love divine)
Worcester Cathedral Choir and Worcester Festival Chorus
Donald Hunt, conductor
Paul Trepte, organ

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Rodney Friend, violin
Russell Gilbert, violin
John Chambers, viola
Alexander Cameron, cello
Adrian Boult, conductor

Catherine Wyn-Rogers, contralto
Duke Dobing, flute
Roger Judd, organ
Corydon Singers
City of London Sinfonia
Matthew Best, conductor

The Lark Ascending
Tasmin Little, violin
BBC Philharmonic
Andrew Davis, conductor.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 9 Jul 2018 12:00

Music Played

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Down Ampney (Come Down, O Love Divine)

    Performer: Paul Trepte. Choir: Worcester Cathedral Choir. Choir: Worcester Festival Chorus. Conductor: Donald Hunt.
    • Griffin GCCD 4024.
    • Griffin.
    • 5.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

    Performer: Rodney Friend. Performer: Russell Gilbert. Performer: John Chambers. Performer: Alexander Cameron. Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Adrian Boult.
    • EMI 7 64017 2.
    • EMI.
    • 1.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

    Performer: Duke Dobing. Performer: Roger Judd. Singer: Catherine Wyn‐Rogers. Choir: Corydon Singers. Orchestra: City of London Sinfonia. Conductor: Matthew Best.
    • Hyperion CDS44321.
    • Hyperion.
    • 5.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    The Lark Ascending

    Performer: Tasmin Little. Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN 10796.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 9.


Role Contributor
Performer BBC Philharmonic


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