Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending for Violin and Orchestra

by Max Derrickson

Ralph Vaughan Williams     (b Down Ampney, England, October 12, 1872; London, August 26, 1958)

The Lark Ascending for Violin and Orchestra

This seminal work of the English composer was inspired by a poem by English poet George Meredith, and of course, by the exquisite beauty of the lark, those glorious birds that flit and soar over the lush fields of England.  A keen champion of English folk song, Vaughan Williams’ compositions were often written with folk-like themes, though richly harmonized.  He was also captivated by the sonorities of
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This excerpt of Meredith’s poem was published in the score:

He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain or sound,
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake …

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