Contents 1 Performances 1. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The sway rises to a shortened A3 , which abruptly cuts both itself and the introductory section off. All strings play in the first statement, with the second violins, violas, and first celli handling the melody in unison, for an incredibly rich string sound. Rising arpeggios from low to high in the upper strings lead to a restatement of the theme in the first violins and first violas you shouldn't forget the theme.
There's much octave double-stopping each string player sounds two notes at once , a higher dynamic, and - guess what? This reaches a climax, which dies in more magic chords, caught from the tail of A4. A2 and A3 explored. A declamatory, abrupt statement of A2 alternates with the sway At , A3 alternates with the sway. We then return to the introductory "magic chords" in the smaller orchestra II, alternating with the sway in orchestra I.
The sway reaches a small peak in both choirs, then dims as it alternates between orchestra I and orchestra II. A3 explored. The solo viola leads off with a variant on A3 This merges with the sway and an abrupt statement of A3, which the string quartet takes up The sway begins again in the small choir and larger one joins in with another declaiming of A3. The string quartet continues its polyphonic meditation on the subtheme , and the full orchestra again declaims A3 before it falls and dissolves into the sway of the string quartet Explores the swaying subject.
The small choir extends the quartet's sway and takes off down new melodic bypaths, with annotations provided by the quartet At , large and small orchestras embark on "the chant of pleasant exploration," to borrow Whitman, and begin to build to a huge climax, culminating in A3 This dies down to an "afterglow" in the small choir For me, this is the "deep heart's core" of the entire piece - a miracle of the imagination.
The sway tries to start again, but doesn't seem to be able to get beyond two notes It begins with a huge push and dissolves into fragments of "magic chords. The orchestra provides a featherbed of sound, and the solo violin and viola duet on A2, A3, and more sway. Everybody joins in on A4 , which loses heat and leads to more "magic chords" at I've known this work for almost forty years. I treasure it. I'm quite aware that understanding the skeleton says very little about the miracle of its life.
If I knew how that were done, I wouldn't be writing prose. Copyright , Steve Schwartz. All Rights Reserved.
Site Search. He gets most of his contrast by dividing the strings into three groups of unequal strength: 1. And despite restricting himself to an orchestra consisting solely of strings, this music features more variety of sonic color than most of his pre-France works for full orchestra. Vaughan Williams clearly took to heart his lessons with Ravel.
The Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis was favorably received by its first audience. The work is wonderful because it seems to lift one into some unknown regions of musical thought and feeling. Vaughan Williams composed the work for a string orchestra divided into three ensembles: a full string orchestra, a smaller orchestra of nine players, and a string quartet. This division is key to the variety of instrumental colors and effects Vaughan Williams achieves.
Throughout the piece, the smaller orchestra tends to act as a shadow or echo of the larger orchestra, adding a kind of celestial shimmer to its statements. The quartet, in contrast, is frequently used in a more prominent role to introduce material which will be manipulated by the larger ensembles. The source melody by Thomas Tallis is in Phrygian mode and is structured in two sections. The first half consists of two very similar phrases, and the second consists of two contrasting phrases with more rhythmic variety.
Tallis's original tune  is in the Phrygian mode and was one of the nine he contributed to the Psalter of for the Archbishop of Canterbury , Matthew Parker. When Vaughan Williams edited the English Hymnal of , he also included this melody number Parker's original words were:.
Listeners of the UK classical music radio station Classic FM have regularly voted the piece into the top five of the station's "Hall of Fame" , an annual poll of the most popular classical music works.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Vaughan Williams and the Vision of Albion.Sir Edward Elgar, Vaughan Williams* / The Sinfonia Of London / Barbirolli* - Barbirolli Conducts English String Music (LP, Whi) His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice ASD , ASD