"Do you realize," a friend told composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, "that none of your best-sellers are your own?"
He was referring to the Fantasia on Greensleeves, the English Folk Songs Suite, and the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. And while it's a clever remark that the composer found very funny, the truth is, all three works are very much his own.
In fact, I would argue that Vaughan Williams' particular form of greatness is not in saying things that have never been said before--but in presenting familiar or forgotten things in a way that makes them seem fresh and relevant.
In this hour, an exploration of two of Vaughan Williams' best-loved works, and the folk songs that inspired them.