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Ralph Vaughan Williams and Adrian Boult
Title Details

330 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

4 music examples, 29 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

Ralph Vaughan Williams and Adrian Boult

by Nigel Simeone

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
The first detailed study of the working relationship and productive friendship between Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) and Adrian Boult (1889-1983).

From 1918 onwards, Boult became one of Vaughan Williams's most important interpreters, giving the world premieres of the Pastoral, Fourth and Sixth Symphonies, performing almost all his major works (not only at home but with some of the world's greatest orchestras), and working in close collaboration with the composer on major projects including the first complete recording of Vaughan Williams's symphonies. Boult continued to be the most devoted advocate of Vaughan Williams's music to the end of his long career.

As this book shows, Boult's scores include numerous annotations derived from conversations and correspondence with Vaughan Williams and these provide important evidence of the composer's wishes including adjustments to orchestration, comments on interpretation, dynamics, phrasing and revisions to Vaughan Williams's notoriously unreliable metronome marks. The evidence of these scores is considered alongside the extensive correspondence between Vaughan Williams and Boult, Boult's private diaries and other relevant documents including contemporary press reports. The book includes three substantial supplements: a detailed description of Boult's marked scores, a comprehensive list of Boult's Vaughan Williams performances and a discography including surviving recordings of unpublished broadcasts. It will be indispensable reading for scholars and students of Vaughan Williams and historical conducting, Vaughan Williams enthusiasts and those interested in the history of recorded music.
Prologue
1. First Encounters and A Sea Symphony
2. A London Symphony
3. A Pastoral Symphony and Boult on Conducting in the 1920s
4. Job: 'To Adrian Boult'
5. Symphony No. 4 in F minor
6. Wartime Tensions
7. Symphony No. 5 in D major
8. Symphony No. 6 in E minor
9. Sinfonia antartica and the Last Two Symphonies
10. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Other Orchestral Works
11. Choral and Vocal Works
12. Vaughan Williams, Boult and The Pilgrim's Progress

Appendix 1: Annotations on Boult's Working Scores
Appendix 2: Boult's Vaughan Williams Performances: A Chronology
Appendix 3: Discography
Bibliography
Index

NIGEL SIMEONE is a music scholar, writer and broadcaster specializing in twentieth-century music. He is the author of numerous books. For the Boydell Press he is the co-author with John Tyrell of Charles Mackerras (2015) and the author of The Janáček Compendium (2019).

"Another new book Vaughan Williams and Adrian Boult, by Nigel Simeone, analyses the crucial creative partnership Vaughan Williams had with Boult, who conducted the premieres of three of his symphonies, and recorded the first cycle of them. The collaboration continued posthumously: throughout the 1960s and 1970s Boult recorded and performed his friend's works, conducting his centenary concert in 1972. Simeone's achievement is to have analysed the scores Boult used when conducting, and the annotations he added following conversations with the composer." Simon Heffer, The Telegraph
"In Simeone's hands, Boult's commitment to his composer and Vaughan Williams' rugged, self-deprecating character tell an enormously valuable story" Sir Mark Elder, conductor
"It is the revelation of the interaction between these two towering figures in British music that makes this such an important book" Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
"[T]he much-respected musicologist Nigel Simeone has provided a definitive account of the relationship between the two men which throws much light on their working practices. One might have thought that such an examination had appeared before, but ... the level of attention and scholarship given here is unprecedented.... Simeone's is perhaps one of the most valuable books on the composer to appear in some time.... It goes without saying that any admirer of Vaughan Williams should have Simeone's study on their shelves; his reserves of insight and elegantly expressed enthusiasm are to be found in abundance here." Barry Forshaw, Classical CD Choice

Hardcover

9781783277292

October 2022

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Title Details

330 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

4 music examples, 29 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press