Vaughan-Williams – 3 English Folk Songs

Composer: R. Vaughan-Williams (1872-1958)
Duration: a. 8 minutes
Price: £20
Grade: 5-8
Instrumentation: Brass Quintet

Arranged in 2022 for RVW’s 150th Birthday celebrations at Charterhouse School, the institution where he was once a student, these 3 Folk Songs are taken from a selection of 5 songs for chorus. The songs are regular repertoire for choirs, an accessible and characterful example of the English Renaissance. This version for Quintet is equally charming when showcasing modal colours, dark haunting melodies and light bouncing rhythms.

‘Just as the Tide was Flowing’ – A lively and catchy 2 step, strong major scalic patterns, and flowing quaver lines juxtapose a heavy and resolute melody.

‘The Spring Time of the Year’ – A stunning modal melody, rich dorian harmonies and slow undulating quavers.

‘Wassail Song’ – A bright and lively compound lilt in 1 time, with echoing ‘wassail’ figures and the usual genius English style of accompaniment variations.

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