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Vaughan Williams, Ralph: Anniversary Choral Collection. Rental

Curated by Angus Smith

“The art of music above all the other arts is the expression of the soul of a nation.” Vaughan Williams, 1934

For a cappella choirs and their conductors, Stainer & Bell mark the 150th anniversary year of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth with a unique compilation of scores and supporting material, celebrating his choral classics in the context of his love of folksong and the work of the Tudor masters, the profound influence of his teacher Stanford and close friend Holst, and the poetry of his second wife Ursula.

Complete collection vocal scores for rental (Please contact the Hire Library for further details)
Individual titles for sale (Special offer pricing to be announced shortly)

Ref: HL452 ISMN: 9790220227660 Categories: , , By:


Around VW’s Five English Folksongs, Three Elizabethan Partsongs and traditional and folk-inspired carol arrangements, Stainer & Bell’s Choral Ambassador, Angus Smith, has created a captivating and flexible programme of related works, adaptable to a variety of performing situations, from brief tributes to a whole evening’s performance. Included are partsongs by Holst and Stanford, plus the inspiring polyphony of Byrd, Gibbons, Morley and Tallis, selected from S&B’s world-renowned historical catalogue.

Young composer Sarah Cattley’s newly commissioned SATB setting of Ursula’s poem O Western Wind brings the tribute right up to date. This bold tapestry will inspire fresh understanding of VW’s achievement, and renew admiration for the legacies both of folksong and the heritage of choral singing, fused by his genius into one of the great voices of twentieth-century music.

This collection of 28 pieces, available for hire or purchase, forms a complete programme for choirs – including an encore! However, we also invite choirs to ‘personalise’ the content and running order as they wish, for example either by substituting items with instrumental interludes or with choral repertoire already familiar to the singers, or by shortening the programme.

Free Bonus Features

In order to assist with concert preparation, we will provide full programme notes (composer biography and notes on the music) which choirs are welcome to reproduce in their audience programmes, free of charge. These, plus a complete set of the texts, will also be made available on request in digital format.

For further information and for assistance with any enquiries, please contact Angus Smith (


Some pieces have interchangeable part options (for example, some lines in the madrigals may be sung either by low altos, high tenors, or a combination of both) and timings indicated here assume that pieces will be sung in their entirety. However, tempi are, of course, at the discretion of choir directors and, in some cases, verses may be cut.  

From Five English Folk Songs (Ref D53)
SATB unaccompanied (with divisions) [5’30]
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Just as the tide was flowing (Ref W86)
The Dark Eyed Sailor (Ref W84)

Byrd and Tallis
William Byrd O God give ear and do apply. SAATB unaccompanied [3’30] (Ref BY1201)
Thomas Tallis
Archbishop Parker’s Psalter, 3rd Tune: Why fum’th in sight. SATB unaccompanied [1′] (Ref ECM1319
O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit. SATB unaccompanied [2’30] (Ref ECM1205
Fond Youth is a Bubble. SATB unaccompanied [1’30] (Ref ECM1216

Three Elizabethan Partsongs
SATB unaccompanied [6′]
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Sweet Day (Ref (20766)
The Willow Song (Ref W138)
O Mistress Mine (Ref 20764)

The English Madrigalists
John Farmer Fair Phyllis I saw. SATB [2′] (Ref M815)
Richard Edwards In going to my naked bed. SATB [1’30] (Ref W2)
Orlando Gibbons The Silver Swan. SAATB [1’30] (Ref M501)
Thomas Morley My bonny lass she smileth. SAATB [2′] (Ref M407)

From Eight Traditional Carols (1919) [6’30] (Ref CH104)
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Down in yon forest. SATB (with soprano solo) unaccompanied or with piano (Ref CH106)
The truth sent from above. SATB unaccompanied or unison and piano (Ref CH107)
The Yorkshire Wassail Song. Unison and piano (Ref CH108)



From Twelve Traditional Carols from Herefordshire (1920) [4’30] (Ref D97)
Ella M. Leather & Ralph Vaughan Williams
God rest you merry, gentlemen. SATB unaccompanied
On Christmas Day.
SATB unaccompanied (Sopranos texted, ATB vocalising)

Master and Pupils
C. V. Stanford (From Eight Partsongs Op.119). SATB unaccompanied (with divisions) [8′] (Ref D104)
The Blue Bird (Ref CL27)
My Heart in Thine
Gustav Holst Autumn Song. SATB unaccompanied [2′] (Ref 42519)
Ralph Vaughan Williams Come away, death. SSATB unaccompanied [3′] (Ref CL13)
Sarah Cattley O Western Wind (poem by Ursula Vaughan Williams). SATB unaccompanied [3’30] (Ref CN54P)

From Five English Folksongs (Ref D53)
SATB unaccompanied (with divisions) [9′]
Ralph Vaughan Williams
The Spring Time of the Year (Ref W85)
The Lover’s Ghost (Ref CL131)
Wassail Song (Ref CL132)


Ralph Vaughan Williams Loch Lomond. SSATB unaccompanied [3′] (Ref CL262)

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