Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 3 ‘Pastoral’
Vernon Handley conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Alison Barlow, soprano.
The video contains a number of beautiful paintings. Someone put a good bit of work into uploading this one. Here’s what he says about it:
“Vaughan Williams composed his third symphony, ‘A Pastoral Symphony’, after he returned to England from active service as an officer in the Royal Garrison Artillery on the Western Front. Earlier in the war, he had served as a stretcher-bearer in the Royal Army Medical Corps in France and Salonika.
‘A Pastoral Symphony’ has been described as “A distillation of English Folk-Song” and, though at one level the work can be seen as a meditation on the English countryside and on the lives of those who lived and worked within it, at a deeper level it is a response to RVW’s experiences during the war of 1914-18 and an expression of his grief and loss. It is ‘war music’ but of a very unusual kind.
To accompany this darkly serene symphony, I’ve assembled a sequence of paintings which, I hope, reflect the music’s constantly shifting mood and atmosphere. I haven’t attempted to tell a story but to suggest certain ideas and associations which, to my ears, are prompted by the music. The country scenes represent not only Britain, but France, Belgium and the (in the scherzo) the United States..
I have chosen paintings by artists from The British Isles, France, Belgium, Italy, Canada and the USA:
First movement: Works by Edmund Wilkins Waite, George Vicat Cole, Joseph Farquharson, Julien Dupre, Emil Claus, Henry Yeend King, Jules Breton and Theodore Rousseau.
Second Movement: Works by Frederick Waters Watts, Henry Yeend King, Julien Dupre, Fortunino Matania, Emil Claus and Haydn Reynolds McKay.
Third Movement: Thomas Moran, G V Cole, Albert Goodwin, Gustave Dore, John Arnesby Brown, John Fabian Carlson.
Fourth Movement: Christopher Nevinson, John Singer Sargent, Gilbert Rogers, GV Cole, Emil Claus, Julien Dupre, Ugo Matania, George Edmund Butler, H. Yeend King, Paul Nash, William Orpen, Alfred Bastien.