Lark Ascending

Music Transcriptions
Minute a Day Music
Music and Book Store
Celtic Music
Orchestral Instruments
Instruments for Sale
Music of Birds
The Charm of Birds
Bird photos and videos
Animal photos and videos
London Sights and Sounds
Roads and Sights of England
Sights and Sounds of Texas
Music History - December
Useful Links
Privacy Policy

Back to Music of Birds

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
The Lark Ascending

During a long career Ralph Vaughan Williams began a new Renaissance of English music. In works ranging from symphonies and concerti to operas, ballets, and hymns, Vaughan Williams blended English folk song, hymns and Elizabethan music with themes inspired both by masters such as Bach and Handel, Ravel and Debussy.

Born in Gloucestershire, Vaughan Williams studied both in England, at the Royal College of Music in London and at Trinity College in Cambridge, and with Max Bruch in Berlin and Maurice Ravel in Paris. A dedicated musicologist, he collected and catalogued over 800 English folk songs.

In The Lark Ascending, Vaughan Williams found inspiration in a poem by the English poet George Meredith (1828-1909). The composer included this portion of Meredith's poem on the flyleaf of the published work:

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

For singing till his heaven fills, 
‘Tis love of earth that he instils, 
And ever winging up and up, 
Our valley is his golden cup 
And he the wine which overflows 
to lift us with him as he goes. 

Till lost on his aerial rings 
In light, and then the fancy sings. 

Back to Music of Birds

Question? Contact Alison Pryce