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Saturday, June 21, 2014 Permalink

The Antarctic Connection

A scene in Antarctica


The film is about a doomed expedition to the South Pole, and the musical score by Ralph Vaughan Williams reflects the stoic heroism of men facing fearsome odds—and who bravely accept defeat in their struggle against brute Nature.

As with his other film scores, the composer might have simply moved on to his next project. But something deeper had been stirred in him, and he resolved to turn the score into a major orchestral work.

In this hour, how Vaughan Williams transformed his score for Scott of the Antarctic into his seventh symphony, the Sinfonia Antartica—a process that tells us a lot about the nature of both film and symphonic music—the similarities and key differences.



CD Title


Catalog #


Film Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Vol. 1

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra & Sheffield Philharmonic Choir, Rumon Gamba

Chandos CHAN 10007


Sinfonia Antartica, etc.

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir, Vernon Handley

EMI Classics for Pleasure 5 75313 2


Sinfonia Antartica

London Symphony Orchestra, Andre Previn

RCA Victor 6781-2-RG


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