The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams

Reading sample

Cambridge Companions to Music

Boek (softcover)

Item no.770705
EditorAlain Frogley, Aidan J. Thomson
Scope358 pages
Release year2013
Publisher/ProducerCambridge University Press
Producer No.9780521162906
30.60 €
Delivery time approx. 1–2 weeks.
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An icon of British national identity and one of the most widely performed twentieth-century composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams has been as much misunderstood as revered; his international impact and enduring influence on areas as diverse as church music, film scores and popular music has been insufficiently appreciated.

This volume brings together a team of leading scholars, examining all areas of the composer's output from new perspectives, and re-evaluating the cultural politics of his lifelong advocacy for the music-making of ordinary people. Surveys of major genres are complemented by chapters exploring such topics as the composer's relationship with the BBC and his studies with Ravel; uniquely, the book also includes specially commissioned interviews with major living composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Piers Hellawell, Nicola Lefanu and Anthony Payne. The Companion is a vital resource for all those interested in this pivotal figure of modern music.

  • The first comprehensive re-examination of Vaughan Williams's music, its context and its reception to appear since the 1980s, this Companion contains a diversity of approaches and perspectives from leading scholars in the field
  • Includes discussions of works by the composer that have only recently been rediscovered and performed – the first time that these works have been examined
  • Features insightful interviews with the composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Piers Hellawell, Nicola LeFanu and Anthony Payne, providing acknowledgement of Vaughan Williams's often overlooked modernity by British composers who have followed him


  • Chronology
  • Introduction Alain Frogley and Aidan J Thomson
  • Part I 'Who wants the English composer?': Forging a Path, 1890–1925:
  • 1 The composer and society: family, politics, nation Julian Onderdonk
  • 2 Vaughan Williams's musical apprenticeship Byron Adams
  • 3 Becoming a national composer: critical reception to c1925 Aidan J Thomson
  • Part II Works by Genre:
  • 4 History and geography: the early orchestral works and first three symphonies Alain Frogley
  • 5 The songs and shorter secular choral works Sophie Fuller
  • 6 'An Englishman and a democrat': Vaughan Williams, large choral works and the English festival tradition Charles Edward McGuire
  • 7 Folksong arrangements, hymn tunes, and church music Julian Onderdonk
  • 8 Music for stage and film Eric Saylor
  • 9 Chamber music and works for soloist with orchestra Christopher Mark
  • 10 The later symphonies Julian Horton
  • Part III Activism, Reception, and Influence:
  • 11 The public figure: Vaughan Williams as writer and activist David Manning
  • 12 Vaughan Williams, Boult, and the BBC Jenny Doctor
  • 13 Fluctuations in the response to the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams Michael Kennedy
  • 14 Vaughan Williams and his successors: composers' forum Peter Maxwell Davies, Piers Hellawell, Nicola LeFanu and Anthony Payne in conversation with Aidan J Thomson
  • Select bibliography
  • Index of Vaughan Williams's works