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  • A London Symphony (Excerpts)

    SKU: BBBE221231

    A London Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958) is often referred to as his Symphony No. 2, though the composer did not designate that name for the work. It was originally completed in 1913 and is dedicated to Vaughan Williams's friend and fellow composer, George Butterworth (1885 - 1916), who had encouraged Vaughan Williams to write a purely orchestral symphony.


    Vaughan Williams said that while the title may suggest a programmatic piece, it was intended as absolute music. First performed in 1914, the original score of this four-movement symphony was lost and subsequently reconstructed from the orchestral parts.

    Vaughan Williams made several revisions of the work and the final definitive form (the version most often performed and recorded) was published in 1936. The revisions incorporated and published in the 1936 score were minor and, in large part, an attempt by Vaughan Williams to tighten up the work by removing material. In his own words, one such edit was to remove a lengthy chorale passage in the 4th movement that Vaughan Williams himself described as "a bad hymn tune."


    This transcription is made from the 1920 Stainer and Bell publication and is a single movement excerpt that draws most of its material from the first movement and the fourth movement epilogue.

    • Composer

      Ralph Vaughan Williams

    • Arranger

      Michael Allen

    • Duration

      c. 15' 30"

    • Instrumentation

      444.12 tmp + 2 perc - Piccolo Trumpet in B flat, 2 Trumpets in C, Flugelhorn, 4 Horns, 3 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, 2 Tubas, Timpani, Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Triangle, Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal, Bass Drum

    • Difficulty

      Grade 5 - advanced college/university or professional ensemble

    • File Format

      Full score and parts in PDF available for download.

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