BBC Philharmonic: Discovering Vaughan Williams

BBC Philharmonic: Discovering Vaughan Williams

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 19:30

This illustrated introduction to Vaughan Williams’ music reveals two sharply contrasting sides of his music. In the Fen Country, one of his earliest works, displays his fascination with folk song, its evocation of East Anglia tinged with echoes of Delius. It’s a far cry from the ferocity that the Sixth Symphony unleashed in 1948. Although the composer was quick to dismiss speculation that it was a reflection on the years of conflict that preceded it, and the nuclear threat that they initiated, there’s no denying the tension in this post-war masterpiece whose opening rampages across an unforgiving landscape. The sense of threat is at its highest in the ominous slow movement before a demonic scherzo leads into a desolate Epilogue. Vaughan Williams, quoting Prospero’s lines from The Tempest – “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep” – raises as many questions as it answers. John Wilson, a brilliant conductor of English music and a devotee of Vaughan Williams is joined by broadcaster Stephen Johnson, who’ll be shedding light on the Sixth Symphony, with live extracts from the BBC Philharmonic, before a complete performance of both pieces.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @RoyalNottingham #Nottinghamclassics

In the Fen Country
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Symphony No 6 in E minor
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)


Royal Concert Hall
Theatre Square
Nottingham NG1 5ND
United Kingdom
Event Information Box
£14; Go Card tickets £5 for under 26s Available from 0115 989 5555 Monday to Saturday 9am to 8.30pm.
Venue URI:
Purchase URI:
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here