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Vaughan Williams, Ralph: London Symphony, A (Symphony No. 2). Rental

Full score and instrumental material

Ref: HL218 ISMN: 9790220217296 Categories: , By:

Description

Revised Edition
Duration: 46 minutes
For three flutes (third doubling piccolo), two oboes, cor anglais, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, two cornets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (three players), harp and strings

Original 1913 Version
Duration: 61 minutes
For three flutes (third doubling piccolo), two oboes, cor anglais, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, two cornets, two trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (three players), harp and strings

1920 Version
Duration: 49 minutes
For three flutes (third doubling piccolo), two oboes, cor anglais, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, two cornets, two trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (three players), harp and strings

ABOUT
A London Symphony was Vaughan Williams’s first wholly orchestral symphony and his first large-scale orchestral composition. It owes its origin to George Butterworth, the gifted composer who was killed on the Somme in 1916. Vaughan Williams has written of an evening spent with Butterworth in 1911: ‘Just as he was getting up to go he said in his characteristically abrupt way: ‘You know, you ought to write a symphony.’ From that moment the idea of a symphony – a thing I had always declared I would never attempt – dominated my mind.’ He had already made some sketches for a symphonic poem about London, a city he loved and where, since his marriage to Adeline Fisher in 1897, he had lived.

From his study in the attic of 13 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, he had a wonderful view of the river. Paintings always provided Vaughan Williams with creative stimulus and examples were impelling his mind towards London as a musical subject. He knew well Monet’s impressionist London scenes.

First performed on 27th March 1914, conducted by Geoffrey Toye, A London Symphony was immediately acclaimed, but the composer was not satisfied and he revised and cut it for performances under Adrian Boult in 1918. The score was first published in 1920 and bore a dedication to the memory of Butterworth. Further cuts were made in the 1930s when the revised score was published. In 1951, when Vaughan Williams revised the orchestration of the six symphonies he had written he left the London alone, writing to Sir John Barborolli that it was ‘past mending, though indeed with all its faults I love it still – indeed it is my favourite of my family of six’.

Please contact the Hire Library for further details.

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