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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, Ralph Vaughan Williams

The BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis at Gloucester Cathedral, where in 1910, it was played and conducted for the first time by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams as part of the 1910 Three Choirs Festival.

According to his biographer Michael Kennedy, Vaughan Williams came to associate Tallis's theme with John Bunyan's Christian allegory, The Pilgrim's Progress, a subject with which the composer had a lifelong fascination; he used the tune in 1906 in incidental music he composed for a stage version of the book.


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