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The Works Of Ralph Vaughan Williams (Clarendon Paperbacks) Paperback – 5 Nov 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (5 Nov 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198163304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198163305
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'His exposition on the composer's life and music is both comprehensive and superlative.' Stephen Town, Northwest Missouri State University, Choral Journal

About the Author

Michael Kennedy is Chief Music Critic, Sunday Telegraph.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By john french on 18 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
I was looking forward to reading this book, albeit having read previous reviews on Amazon.

The reviews were accurate - Kennedy is an ardent disciple and whatever problems there were in the musical world they were avowedly not Vaughan Williams'. Having said that Vaughan Williams is a unmistakeable - surely the mark of a great composer. A musical hero in the same way as is Sibelius.

The book sticks fairly strictly to Vaughan Willams' published works - one only gets a glimpse of the rest of his life.

The book now available in paperback is a copy of the second edition; a third might be advisable. The Amazon paperback is actually a facsimile, printed for Amazon,by the look of it, and at £28 plus for a paperback is not cheap. There are a number of typographical errors I would not have expected, together with idiosyncratic spelling which a more compelling editor might have queried and some of the lettering is missing in places.

Perhaps these are small details and minor quibles, but not at that price. Even the paper has the feel of a facsimile printing - it needs looking at. An interesting book, then, but on reflection I would have chosen to buy an original secondhand edition. I felt short-changed by the product, rather than the content.

I shall have to read the biography by Ursula VW, his second wife, to give another perspective on his life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
The Works of Ralph Vaughan Williams by Michael Kennedy, Oxford University Press, 1964, 416 ff.

Whenever I need to look up some details of the life or works of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams there are two books that I turn to - one is this book by Michael Kennedy, who was a close friend of the composer and who is always a reliable source regarding biographies of composers and performers on the English scene in the 20th century. The other sourcebook I use is the biography of the composer by James Day in Dent's Master Musicians series. The biography works through successive periods of the composer's life and there are a few illuminating musical examples along the way to demonstrate points made in the text. Although his melodies often called on those of the first Elizabethan era and of traditional folk songs, his musical structures and harmonies were very much of the 20th century. He wrote nine symphonies but, perhaps because of their length, his best-known compositions are his tone poems, many capturing the atmosphere of the English pastoral scene. There are no appendices to the text and no index, which I find a distinct disadvantage. There is I believe a subsequent edition in 1980 which does have a list of the composer's works and an Index.

Vaughan Williams (Master Musician)
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2 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Humphreys on 30 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is in a good condition.
Unfortunately it did not have the full appendix which gives all the collected works of RVW.
Fortunately I have a friend who can let me see his copy which does have the full collected works included.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
*The* standard study of Vaughan Williams's music. 3 April 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've known this book for over thirty years. Kennedy approachesVaughan Williams's catalogue both widely and deeply, with plenty ofmusical examples. Since I'm a Vaughan Williams headbanger, a book like this is my equivalent of hagiography. Kennedy assumes (correctly) that Vaughan Williams is one of the major composers of this century, and not just in England, and thus discusses works in a clear-eyed way, without special pleading, emotional ginger-up, or hysterical proselytizing. He gives us the musical "facts" of a work and shows, in purely compositional terms, why it's wonderful -- the most convincing argument of all. I've almost worn out my copy through reading and re-reading. When I listen to a Vaughan Williams work, I usually have the book handy. A classic of music writing.--Steve Schwartz
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ralph Vaughan Williams - a biography 14 Dec 2012
By Dr. H. A. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Works of Ralph Vaughan Williams by Michael Kennedy, Oxford University Press, 1964, 416 ff.

Whenever I need to look up some details of the life or works of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams there are two books that I turn to - one is this book by Michael Kennedy, who was a close friend of the composer and who is always a reliable source regarding biographies of composers and performers on the English scene in the 20th century. The other sourcebook I use is the biography of the composer by James Day in Dent's Master Musicians series. The biography works through successive periods of the composer's life and there are a few illuminating musical examples along the way to demonstrate points made in the text. Although his melodies often called on those of the first Elizabethan era and of traditional folk songs, his musical structures and harmonies were very much of the 20th century. He wrote nine symphonies but, perhaps because of their length, his best-known compositions are his tone poems, many capturing the atmosphere of the English pastoral scene. There are no appendices to the text and no index, which I find a distinct disadvantage. There is I believe a subsequent edition in 1980 which does have a list of the composer's works and an Index

Vaughan Williams (Master Musicians)
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