Artist of the Week: Ralph Vaughan Williams


I grew up listening to classical music and have to say it is my favorite genre to this day. From pieces by more traditional composers like Beethoven, Mozart, and my personal favorite, Tchaikovsky, to pieces from more modern composers, like Nicholas Hooper, Alexandre Desplat, John Williams, Howard Shore, and all those other amazing soundtrack composers, no other type of music induces quite the same level of inspiration, magic, and strong, real emotions for me.

I’ve chosen to feature Vaughn Williams this week because, while he may not be my favorite artist overall, he did compose what has been my favorite piece of music since I first heard it as a young child and always will be till the end of time: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

I suppose I was somewhere around ten, eleven…twelve perhaps when I first heard Fantasia. My aunt had gotten me this little radio with headphones, and I accidentally happened upon our local classical station; I didn’t know such a station existed, so I was happy at that discovery alone. But I will never forget the magic of the first song I listened to on that station. It was Vaughn William’s Fantasia. I lay in bed, listening, and as I listened, the entirety of the magical garden of Kezia the Fairy from the Legends of Surprisers series I was writing at the time unfolded before me, and it was beautiful, real, almost tangible.

From then on, whenever that song would come on, I would stop, listen, and let that beauty take hold of me again. Then, one day, at long last, I found a CD with Fantasia as one of its songs.

It is actually a great dream of mine to someday hear and see this song played by a live symphony; from my research, it seems like this is done mostly in Europe. Ahh, perhaps someday when I am able to go overseas and see castles and other wonders I will be able to hear this song as well.

I share this epic, amazing song with you now. Maybe you be blessed, inspired, and uplifted as I have been. Here is Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis:

To learn more about Ralph Vaughn Williams’ life and work, visit this website for the Ralph Vaughn Williams Society: