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Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 6

Stephen Johnson explores Vaughan Williams's Sixth Symphony, with excerpts from the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

First heard in 1948, the symphony's violence and dissonance came as a huge shock after the serenity of Symphony No 5. Vaughan Williams always denied this work was a 'war' symphony, but in some passages war imagery is, for many, hard to ignore. The first three movements are wild and complex both rhythmically and harmonically, while the conclusion is a desolate and haunting epilogue.

Release date:


57 minutes


Role Contributor
Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams