The son of a clergyman, he became an atheist in college, then settled for a life as a “cheerful agnostic.”
And yet, he probably wrote more Christmas music than any other modern composer, with a deep love for both the pageantry and the simple joys of the season.
In the next hour, orchestral and vocal music for the holidays by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
|Folk Songs of the Four Seasons||Dimitri Ensemble, Clare College Choir, Cambridge, David Wilcocks||Albion ALBCD010||5060158190102|
|Hodie & Fantasia on Christmas Carols||Stephen Gadd, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Guildford Choral Society, Hilary Davan Wetton||Naxos 8.570439||0747313043972|
|Vaughan Williams Collector’s Edition [for the “Gloucester Wassail” by the London Madrigal Singers]||Various||EMI Classics 7243 5 75308 2 8||5099920663629|
|British Viola Concertos [for Suite for Viola & Small Orchestra]||Roger Chase, viola; BBC Concert Orchestra, Stephen Bel||Dutton CDLX 7216||76538772162|
|British Symphonic Collection - Ralph Vaughan Williams [for Prelude on an Old Carol Tune]||Munich Symphony Orchestra, Douglas Bostock||Membran 233316||885150333167|
|Carols of Vaughan Wiliams [for “Wither's Rocking Hymn”]||Cardiff Festival Choir, Owain Arwel Hughes||Griffin GCCD 4072||5027822407225|
|On Christmas Night [incidental music for Dickens’ A Christmas Carol] & The First Nowell [“In Bethlehem City,” “The Salutation Carol,” “How Brightly Shone the Morning Star,” and “The First Nowell”||City of London Sinfonia & Joyful Company of Singers, Richard Hickox||Chandos CHAN 10385||095115138526|