RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (arr. Walter Beeler)
In 1920, Vaughan Williams composed three preludes for organ based on Welsh hymn tunes, a set that quickly established itself in the organ repertoire. Of the three, Rhosymedre, sometimes known as Lovely, has become the most popular. The hymn tune used in this prelude was written by the 19th century Welsh composer, J.D. Edwards, and is a very simple melody made up almost entirely of scale tones and upbeat skips of a fourth. Yet, around this modest tune Vaughan Williams has constructed a piece of grand proportions, joining together hymn tune, bass line and obbligato in such a way as to create an exceedingly fresh and ingratiating tonal language (which seems all the more remarkable when one discovers that there is scarcely an accidental in the entire piece).
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