Sunday, October 28, 2018

A guide to the oft-neglected …

… Orpheus Britannicus | The Russell Kirk Center. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… in the life of “Uncle Ralph” (as Vaughan Williams was unofficially but widely known), it is as well to be reminded of two features often overlooked: first, the sheer unfashionability of his work during his last decade—he died in 1958, aged 86—and second, the assiduity of his widow Ursula in promoting his cause amid these locust-years for his reputation. Of critics’ unfavorable responses to his Ninth Symphony, which appeared only four months before his death, Dr. Rayborn goes so far as to speak of “the vultures circling, awaiting the end.”
I first heard the Ninth not long after its premiere, and I have always loved it.

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