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Symphony No. 5 By Ralph Vaughan Williams

Symphony No. 5

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A new edition in study score format of Vaughan Williams's much-loved Symphony No. 5, correcting errors and misprints and based on research of the extant sources. Contains a preface on the history of the work by Michael Kennedy.

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Symphony No. 5 Summary

Symphony No. 5 by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Despite having been composed in the years 1938-43 when Europe was ravaged by war, this work radiates peace and serenity. It marks the peak of the lyrical modalism of works such as the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910), Flos Campi (1925), and Job (1931). Although it is not a programme symphony, it draws heavily on John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress for inspiration, featuring several themes that were sketched for (and eventually used in) Vaughan Williamsas 1951 opera. In addition, Bunyan's words 'He hath given me rest by his sorrow and life by his death' were originally inscribed over the third movement. This idea of strength drawn from religion must have been especially potent when Vaughan Williams conducted the premiere of the work at the Proms in 1943, during the dark days of the Second World War. The ending in particular has a sense of rising above all worldly concerns into a higher spiritual plane. This edition contains a preface on the history of the work by Michael Kennedy. Orchestral parts are available on hire.

Customer Reviews - Symphony No. 5

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Symphony No. 5 Reviews

The fact is that the new edition of the symphony is not only the best to have appeared, but the best by a very long way, and its impact on performances will be apprecaible. It is good to hear that other Vaughan Williams symphonies are to receive similar long-overdue overhauling. * Colin Coleman, Brio (IAML), Spring 2010 *

About Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams, born in Gloucestershire on 12 October 1872, read History at Cambridge and went to the Royal College of Music where his teachers were Parry, Wood, and Stanford. Vaughan Williams believed in the value of music education and wrote practical competition pieces, serviceable church music, and with the 49th Parallel (1940-41) he found a new outlet in writing for film. His profoundly disturbing Symphony No.6 (1948) received international acclaim with more than a hundred performances in a little over two years. His great sensitivity to the 20th-century human condition, his flexibility in writing for all levels of music making, and his unquestionably great imagination combine to make him one of the key figures in 20th century music. Ralph Vaughan Williams had a long association with Oxford University Press; over 200 publications are available in the Oxford catalogue.

Additional information

Symphony No. 5 by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Used - Very Good
Oxford University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.