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Vaughan Williams's Veranda

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Lisztianwagner:

--- Quote from: kyjo on August 10, 2022, 02:22:15 PM ---Great analysis, Ilaria, with which I very much agree. Last night I was listening to that other great chamber work of RVW’s, his String Quartet no. 2 (the superb Maggini recording on Naxos). Like the Violin Sonata, it is most effective in its contrasts between astringent dissonance and RVW’s signature hymn-like modality. It’s also unique amongst string quartets in that the most important role is given not to the first violin, but to the viola, contributing to the work’s darkly-colored hue (the work was dedicated to a violist friend of his).

--- End quote ---

Sounds a very intriguing piece, thanks for the suggestion, Kyle, I'll certainly listen to it!

Lisztianwagner:
Some thoughts about Vaughan Williams' String Quartet No. 2 (I listened to the Maggini performance, that was superb):

I greatly enjoyed the composition, which is very particular for the great prominence given to the viola as principal instrument instead of the violin; nonetheless it's a beautiful, meditative work, quite dark and haunting in mood for the harmonic tensions, the rhythmic and timbric variations, and the contrapuntal texture of the movements. The first movement is stormy and suggestive for the often irregular ryhtms and dynamics, as it sometimes proceeds powerfully, sometimes it abruptly calms down; the second movement continues in a gloomy atmosphere, growing in intensity till a short climax that immediately fades in a solo, first of violin, then of viola, which quietly leads to the conclusion; the Scherzo is tense and anxious, with the viola definitely prominent, while the violins and cello develop the same melodic lines just changed in key and octave; the final forth movement doesn't lose the melancholic, desolating atmosphere, but now a more serene, peaceful tinge can be perceived too, especially in the ending.

vandermolen:

--- Quote from: Lisztianwagner on August 12, 2022, 11:01:05 AM ---Some thoughts about Vaughan Williams' String Quartet No. 2 (I listened to the Maggini performance, that was superb):

I greatly enjoyed the composition, which is very particular for the great prominence given to the viola as principal instrument instead of the violin; nonetheless it's a beautiful, meditative work, quite dark and haunting in mood for the harmonic tensions, the rhythmic and timbric variations, and the contrapuntal texture of the movements. The first movement is stormy and suggestive for the often irregular ryhtms and dynamics, as it sometimes proceeds powerfully, sometimes it abruptly calms down; the second movement continues in a gloomy atmosphere, growing in intensity till a short climax that immediately fades in a solo, first of violin, then of viola, which quietly leads to the conclusion; the Scherzo is tense and anxious, with the viola definitely prominent, while the violins and cello develop the same melodic lines just changed in key and octave; the final forth movement doesn't lose the melancholic, desolating atmosphere, but now a more serene, peaceful tinge can be perceived too, especially in the ending.

--- End quote ---
Nice analysis! It rates IMO with the Violin Sonata as his greatest chamber work.

vandermolen:
Vaughan Williams's music featured towards the end of the film 'Benediction' (about the life of the war poet Siegfried Sassoon) which I watched on DVD today ('A Pastoral Symphony', Elder/Hallé) and the Tallis Fantasia (LPO/Boult)

Lisztianwagner:

--- Quote from: vandermolen on August 12, 2022, 11:11:52 PM ---Nice analysis! It rates IMO with the Violin Sonata as his greatest chamber work.

--- End quote ---

Thank you! I haven't listened to enough Vaughan Williams' chamber music to say the String Quartet No.2 is his greatest chamber work, but it is absolutely a marvelous, captivating work and maybe the one I enjoyed more so far. It also sounds more original than the String Quartet No.1 (however composed about 34 years earlier), which instead seems to be very influenced by Ravel's harmonic textures and colour, especially in the first movement, where the similarities with the String Quartet in F major are certainly evident.

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