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Paul G.

The Lark Ascending

October 29, 2008 at 3:41 AM

What this piece means to me...

I love this piece and it means so much to me in so many ways.
It was how I discovered my idol Janine Jansen.
It was the first piece that I learned that is accompanied by orchestra.
It is just so beautiful to me.

Vaughan Williams composed the first draft in 1914. He borrowed the term "romance" from Beethoven when he named his piece a Romance for violin. Here are the originally quoted four more lines of the poem:
He is the dance of children, thanks
Of sowers, shout of primrose banks
And eyes of violets while they breathe;
All these the circling song will wreathe...

I am still working on the piece and wondering if I'll ever master it; everyday it brings a new personality into playing.

I can imagine how Williams could get inspiration. Some of the rythms can feel like the beating of birds wings... the opening phrases to me are what that feels like. And the beautiful dramatic passages are the bird rising higher. And the ending, the lark melting into the horizon and fading away.

*Edit: Sorry about the wierd positioning and frame on the picture. I had to upload it using picasa because of the work on the site so it didn't come out how I'd like. And btw, I obviously didn't take it.

From Patricia Baser
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 10:27 AM
Listen to the recording by Iona Brown and the Acadmy of St. Martin in the Field.
From Terez Mertes
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 1:12 PM
I love listening to this piece. So pure, so like a bird. Good luck in your work on it.
From Ray Randall
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 3:06 PM
Wish I could play it.
From Michael Divino
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 7:47 PM
i also discovered janine jansen thru this piece!

From Emily Grossman
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 1:52 AM
I like the positioning of the bird, as well as the blue frame. Perhaps it doesn't say what you want it to say, but it has a lot of character, nonetheless.
From Ronald Mutchnik
Posted on November 1, 2008 at 7:38 AM
I am so glad you love this piece. It was the last thing my father heard me play before he passed away and I will play it again now next weekend with an orchestra. Though the poem does not speak of something spiritual, I feel the special music Vaughan Williams has come up with is deeply so and even after much practicing, it does not fail to inspire and lift one, with the lark, upwards, heaven-bound. There is a very interesting film by Tony Palmer about Vaughan Williams, "O Thou Transcendent". You can read more about it here:

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