The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains (Vaughan Williams, Ralph)
This work is likely not in the public domain in the US (due to first publication with the required notice after 1922, plus renewal or "restoration" under the GATT/TRIPS amendments), nor in the EU and those countries where the copyright term is life+70 years. However, it is public domain in Canada (where IMSLP is hosted) and in other countries (China, Japan, S. Korea) where the copyright term is life+50 years.
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Finale: "So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side"
|Work Title||The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains|
|Alternative Title||Pastoral episode|
|Composer||Vaughan Williams, Ralph|
|Year/Date of Composition||1921-22|
|First Performance||1922 July 11, London
John Bunyan (1628–1688)
|Average Duration||20 minutes|
|Piece Style||Early 20th century|
|Instrumentation||Sopranos; Altos; 2 Trumpets (C); Harp; Bells; Cellos; Double Basses|
Later revised as Act IV, Scene 2, of Vaughan Williams' opera The Pilgrim's Progress.
Chronology per PDF attached to Hyperion recording:
- 1906. Vaughan Williams composes incidental music for a performance of Pilgrim's Progress
- 1921-22. this work (Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains) composed. (Finale, only, published in 1921.) (recorded on Hyperion. Described by them - and the composer - as "an operatic scena for six soloists, women's chorus and orchestra")
- 1938-43: Symphony no.5, which quotes from the opera to follow, is composed.
- 1942: the entire Pilgrim's Progress, "a Bunyan Sequence" (incidental music, precedes the opera- see PDF; adapted/reconstructed by Christopher Palmer and recorded on Hyperion.)
- 1951-2: the opera by that name; according to Michael Kennedy, "germinating" from 1906 until 1952; "he surmises, for instance, that much of Acts I and II was (?) written in 1925-36, while the bulk of the work was carried out between 1944 and 1949." (quoting Christopher Palmer, ©1991.)
"Vaughan Williams... was adamant that it was first and foremost an operatic scena rather than a cantata" - notes to the Hyperion recording of Shepherds. (Palmer, ©1992.)