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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Fourth Symphony

Fourth Symphony

(p.355) Chapter 84 Fourth Symphony
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the two principal themes running through the Fourth Symphony. Incidentally this is not the B A C H theme which in this key would run. The (A) theme appears first as the tail-end of the opening subject of the first movement, thus two other phrases complete the first group of subjects and the following version of (B). It then follows a long cantilena, played by the upper strings, accompanied by repeated notes on the wind. This leads to the key of D major and the following new theme. There is no complete recapitulation of the first subjects, but after a few bars suggestive of the opening, the cantilena passage follows immediately, this time in the bass, with a counter melody in the treble. This works up to a fortissimo. The music then dies away, and ends with a soft and slow repetition of the D major theme, this time in D flat.

Keywords:   Fourth Symphony, cantilena, bass, counter melody, fortissimo

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