The great globe itself …shall dissolve

The sixth symphony: those Vaughan Williams aficionados who attended the 1948 first performance, and who, up to that point, had considered the fourth symphony with its dissonance and brutality to be the exception in the composer’s symphonic output, would have quickly realised their mistake when, at the start of the premiere of the sixth, they heard this –

Opening

André Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra
BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876-55708 – 2

Gone were the spiritual consolations of the fifth to be replaced by the terrifying ostinato (the slow movement), the diabolus in musica (the scherzo) and strange, ghostly whisperings (the finale) –

André Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra
BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876-55708 – 2

Course materials:

VW biography

The music:
André Previn – Symphony No. 6 in E Minor: Allegro
[Spotify search terms: vaughan williams “symphony no. 6” previn]

General musical materials:

Keyboard

Cycle of 5ths

Modes

Header image
Lovis Corinth (1858–1925): Self Portrait with Skeleton

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