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Vaughan Williams on Music [Hardcover]

David Manning

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Book Description

Oct. 15 2007
Concert audiences have an enduring affection for the music of Ralph Vaughan Williamsa composer of dance, symphony, opera, song, hymnody, and film musicand serious scholarship on his music is currently enjoying a revival. 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of Vaughan Williams passing (and 2007 his 135th birthday); his worksparticularly his orchestral musicwill likely find themselves programmed widely for this season, and groups like the RVW Society which regularly hold symposiums may have events planned in honor of the composer. OUP-UK will be publishing a volume of Vaughan Williams Letters, edited by Hugh Cobbe, likely to pub in 2008. We should consider promoting the two volumes together. This collection brings together a host of lively writingssome for the first time, and many for the first time since their initial publicationby one of the most articulate, beloved and engaging English composers. Making available essays, articles, broadcasts, and speech transcripts from 1901-1958, Vaughan Williams on Music exemplifies the multi-faceted nature of his contributions: active supporter of amateur music and English music, a leader in the folksong revival, educator, performer, and polemicist. Vaughan Williams was one of the cultural giants of his day, a figure of iconic stature whose influence stretched far beyond musical circles; his friendships with Bertrand Russell and G. M. Trevelyan, and his tireless work on behalf of a variety of organizations and causes, from Jewish refugees to the Third Programme, gave him a unique place in British national life. He also had a powerful influence in the United States, at a time when the special relationship was approaching its zenith. Through all these perspectives, the words are unmistakably those of a practicing composera young composer at the turn of the last century, trying to find his own musical voice amid widely diverse stylistic influences of the dominant and successful figures of Brahms, Strauss, and Tchaikovsky, and a mature composer in the mid-century, having found that glorious voice which continues to resound across the globe. The volume will be an important contribution to the literature not only on British music, but also on nineteenth- and twentieth-century British cultural and intellectual life as a whole, placing Vaughan Williamss political and aesthetic thought in a broader cultural perspective. It will be a welcome read as well for the general audience which loves the music of Vaughan Williams, that will be listening to and remembering the composer as this anniversary of his death approaches.

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Review

"Vaughan Williams was a prolific and provocative writer of prose as well as music. This fascinating collection, ranging from the independent-minded responses of a young composer to Wagner and Brahms in the 1890s, to influential pronouncements on hot-button issues of the 1950s such as the fledgling BBC Third Programme, reveals the extraordinary range of his interests and sympathies, and the lifelong passion with which he threw himself into nurturing myriad different dimensions of his country's musical life."--Alain Frogley, University of Connecticut

"David Manning is to be commended for his tactful and thorough editing of this splendid collection of writings by the great British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. By assembling and organizing these essays, many of which are being reprinted for the first time since their initial publication, Manning has revealed the breadth and depth of Vaughan Williams's views on music, and thus has provided readers with a breathtaking panorama of a long and distinguished career. That Vaughan Williams was one of the towering composers of the twentieth century goes without saying, but this collection amply demonstrates that his social and aesthetic concerns were those of an intelligent, warmhearted, and sensible liberal humanist who possessed a lively and often felicitous prose style."--Byron Adams, University of California, Riverside

About the Author

David Manning is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Music at Bristol University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The little known RVW July 5 2011
By Chorister - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book provides a substantial body of writings that give the reader valuable insights into RVW's thinking about music and musical issues. For the student of RVW and his music, it may prove invaluable and entertaining. Humorous and biting at times, it shows this great composer's thinking as no other work has done thus far.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative! May 11 2013
By Christine M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great information about the life of Ralph Vaughan Williams. An easy to read biography, well organized so you can skip to the information you need.

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