Serious scholarship on the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams is currently enjoying a lively revival after a period of relative quiescence, and is only beginning to address the enduring affection of concert audiences for his music. The essays that comprise this volume extend the study of Vaughan Williams's music in new directions that will be of interest to scholars, performers and listeners alike. This volume contains the work of eleven North American scholars who have been recipients of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Fellowship based at the composer's own school, Charterhouse, which was created and has been supported by the Carthusian Trust since 1985. This wide-ranging and detailed collection of essays covers the spectrum of genres in which Vaughan Williams wrote, including dance, symphony, opera, song, hymnody and film music. The contributors also employ a range of analytical and historical methods of investigation to illuminate aspects of Vaughan Williams's compositional techniques and influences, musical, literary and visual.
Table of Contents
Contents: List of Vaughan Williams Fellows, 1985-2002; Introduction, Byron Adams; The stages of revision of Vaughan Williams' 6th Symphony, Byron Adams; Vaughan Williams' 5th Symphony: ideology and aural tradition, Murray Dineen; A deconstruction of William Blake's Vision: Vaughan Williams and Job, Alison Sanders McFarland; Vaughan Williams and the 'night side of nature': octatonicism in Riders to the Sea, Walter Aaron Clark; 'Full of fresh thoughts': Vaughan Williams, Whitman and the genesis of A Sea Symphony, Stephen Town; Hymn tunes from folk songs: Vaughan Williams and English hymnody, Julian Onderdonk; Robert Louis Stevenson, Ralph Vaughan Williams and their Songs of travel, Rufus Hallmark; A critical appraisal of the Four Last Songs, Renée Chérie Clark; 'Words and music that are forever England': The Pilgrim's Progress and the pitfalls of nostalgia, Nathaniel G. Lew; Music, film and Vaughan Williams, Daniel Goldmark; Vaughan Williams and the English Music Festival: 1910, Charles Edward McGuire; Index.
Byron Adams was the first scholar to be awarded the Ralph Vaughan Williams Fellowship when it was instituted in 1985. He has published widely on the subject of twentieth-century English music, including articles and reviews in 19th Century Music, Music and Letters, MLA Notes, Current Musicology, and The Musical Quarterly as well as in Vaughan Williams Studies (CUP, 1996). He is presently Professor of Composition and Musicology at the University of California, Riverside. Robin Wells joined the music department at Charterhouse in 1965 and became Director of Music at the school in 1987. A teacher, organist, conductor, examiner and composer, Wells has a particular interest in the music of Herbert Howells and in 1986 was invited by Novello and Co. to edit the composer's posthumous organ works. In 2000, he organized "RVW 2000", a week-long symposium at Charterhouse on Vaughan Williams's music.
'There is much of value in this book for those with special interest in Vaughan Williams.' The Delian 'This is a book I had much pleasure in reading, not only for the quality of the essays , but also ... the production values generally.'Journal of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society '... these Vaughan Williams Essays should be welcomed, for their new information about the composer's compositional process, and some throughtful critical engagements with particular works.' Notes '... a significant contribution to research on Vaughan Williams. Those already well-read on the music of this composer may want to add the volume to their personal libraries.' Music Educators Journal ’... the collection offers a welcome range and balance of coverage... Vaughan Williams Essays has been carefully edited and attractively produced... Overall, the volume represents a major contribution to VaughanWilliams scholarship, with important implications for future research, and deserves a place in any serious music library.' Music and Letters