Ralph vaughan williams essays

As states grew in power, flight was no longer an option, so discontented people were forced to imagine revolution.

Today, escape is once again possible, to safe online spaces which act like medieval forests, places which the government can't control. The nature of resistance is reverting to its Tudor state: socially conservative, constant, and small in scale. Recorded with an audience at the York Festival of Ideas.

Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Life for Music

Eating and avoiding hunger are our most basic goals, yet for thousands of years people have deliberately denied themselves food as an act of faith or conscience. What is the history of fasting, and why do billions still fast today? Image: Christopher Kissane. Credit: Ian Martindale.


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From Romantic notions of the natural nursing mother to Victorian fears of vampirism to modernist associations between breastfeeding and the working class, Corin Throsby, from the University of Cambridge, tracks the political and social implications of how we have chosen to feed our babies over the past years. Five writers explore the year through the works of five Great War artists. Producer: Simon Elmes.

Before the First World War, Mata Hari's elaborate and provocative performances made her body a sensation. She was "the toast of Paris," in a skin coloured body stocking with bejewelled breast cups, enchanting, enthralling and scandalous.

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She explores the allure of the Oriental and attitudes to unfettered and independent women. Drawing parallels with Zulaikha, she unveils the legend of Mata Hari who, convicted for passing secrets to the enemy, faced her final performance before a firing squad on 15th October Producer: Sarah Bowen. Five writers explore the year through the work of five Great War artists.

Ralph Vaughan Williams - Charterhouse Suite for strings

Tonight, Joanna Bourke on Siegfried Sassoon and his celebrated protest against the conflict. I believe this War, upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation, has now become a war of aggression and conquest. In tonight's Essay, Joanna Bourke re-reads Sassoon's letter of protest and examines what led up to his outspoken anti-war declaration, and what happened next. Tarek Osman explores the words of Gertrude Bell, in this series looking at the impact of the First World War on great artists and thinkers.

Gertrude Bell, explorer, archeologist, diplomat, linguist, writer and spy was no ordinary woman.

The first woman ever to be awarded a first-class degree in modern history from Oxford, she went on to become a groundbreaking mountaineer and have a Swiss peak named after her. But these were mere asides.

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By she had immersed herself in the history and culture of the Levant, mastering Arabic, and forging real relationships across large swathes of the region. And in , as Oriental Secretary in the British Commission in Baghdad, she was crucial to them, visiting dignities, poring over intelligence and military plans. The only woman in that world of men, she devised British strategy, selecting its Arab partners and drawing lines in the sand which would become the borders of new states.

After completing his formal education. Vaughan Williams travelled the length and breadth of the country collecting the folk music of the different regions.

‎The Essay: Ian McMillan on Ralph Vaughan Williams on Apple Podcasts

Thus he spent many an evening in some remote pub trying to notate a tune sung to him by a ploughman, blacksmith or village elder. Although the early years of this century did bring Vaughan Williams some success, it was not until , at the age of thirty-eight, that his career really took off. This latter work, based on a tune he found while editing the English Hymnal, is widely regarded as his first true masterpiece, and is a noble work by any standard. That, and his First Symphony held to establish his reputation, and their success was soon followed by another symphony, entitled A London Symphony , a work which had both audiences and fellow composers heaping praise on its creator.

The outbreak of the Great War interrupted the career of Vaughan Williams, as it did many other British artists. Although turned forty, he enlisted at once, and served on the Western Front as a wagon orderly and later as a gunnery officer. From those dark years came the inspiration for his Third Symphony, which was called The Pastoral , but did in fact have distinct echoes of his wartime experience in it.

In particular, the second movement had a section scored for solo trumpet, recalling the sounds of an army bugle heard across the shell-scarred countryside of France. The coming of late middle-age did not diminish his creative fervour, for Vaughan Williams proved to be one of those exceptional artists whose powers actually wax with the passing of the years.

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From the inter-war years came such masterpieces as the ballet Job , inspired by the paintings of William Blake, the Piano Concerto, the mystical Flos Campi and, of course, the Fourth Symphony. In the midst of war, however, with London devastated and the future uncertain, he produced what was to be his most peaceful and beautiful symphonic work. In fact, however, the last thirteen years of his life saw him produce four more symphonies, more film work and a host of other pieces.

Of his latter symphonies, the Sixth became the best known internationally after the Fourth. It was a hectic work, rounded off with a sinister and muted epilogue. This last movement put many in mind of a world laid waste by nuclear war, and although the composer always denied this, the effect this unsettling music had on audiences was remarkable. The Sixth was followed by Sinfonia Antarctica , a work that was an expansion on the film score he had written for Scott of the Antarctic.

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About Ralph Vaughan Williams.