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RVW: A Biography of Ralph Vaughan Williams [Paperback]

Ursula Vaughan Williams

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Book Description

June 1 1991 Clarendon Paperbacks
In addition to his great prowess as a composer, Vaughan Williams was a man of strong character and unflagging energy, who lived a long, full life. He was at the centre of musical events in England for sixty years, a period which for sustained musical achievement is probably unequalled in the history of this country. Ursula Vaughan Williams's intimate and detailed biography of her husband used much material not hitherto available to scholars to produce a balanced and judicious portrait. It is now made newly available as a Clarendon Paperback.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press; Reprint edition (June 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192820826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192820822
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,046,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


`the first full, and still most vivid, biography' BBC Music Magazine

`A living picture of the man ... unlikely to be superseded for a long time to come.' Guardian.

`With the unique authority of his personal papers, her intimate knowledge of a man in the last years of his life, and the imaginative insight of a professional writer, Mrs Vaughan Williams has drawn the portrait of a great Englishman.' Times Literary Supplement

`Mrs Vaughan Williams presents a crowded picture of the composer's ceaseless activity right into extreme old age, his persistent concern with new music and young musicians, his unabated instinct to compose and, at the end of his life, the new-found pleasure in travel and relaxation that was reflected in the last two symphonies.' Daily Telegraph

`The present paperback reissue takes full advantage of all corrections and makes for fascinating reading.' The Ottawa Citizen

`Outstanding among new paperbacks...this warm but judicious biography. Any biographers trying to update it will have to base their work on it.' Birmingham Post

`a detailed and affectionate biography' Sunday Times

`R.V.W. - A Life ... grips as firmly as any study of composers' Islington Gazette

'The standard biography is the beautiful book by Ursula Vaughan Williams ... the definitive survey of his works is by Michael Kennedy ... Ursula Vaughan Williams's book is a deeply personal work about a lovely, humble, and charitable man. R.V.W.: A Biography of Ralph Vaughan Williams can be placed with the best of books: those which stand, even elicit, repeated readings.' Stephen Town, Northwest Missouri State University, Choral Journal

From the Publisher

frontispiece, 16 pp plates

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid biography! May 13 2005
By John Dziadecki - Published on Amazon.com
Written by his wife, Ursula, this is as authoratative as it gets. Filled with details, annecdotes, facts, histories and stories with a warmth that invites us to know and understand RVW as a person and as a composer.

I came to this book after reading many books about Gustav Holst. In doing so, I quickly learned of his friendship with RVW. The two were great friends. In this book, you get another perspective on that friendship and friendship with others. RVW was a kind, open, down-to-earth individual.

This is a remarakable biography about a remarkable human being. I'm glad he lived and wrote the music he shared with us all. This book helped me to understand the man and his times and his music. Highly recommended!

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