Sinfonia Antarctica (Symphony No.7) (Vaughan Williams, Ralph)

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Garrjyng14 (2012/4/18)

Publisher. Info. London: Oxford University Press, 1953
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Philip Legge (2010/6/27)

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Philip Legge (2010/6/27)

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Philip Legge (2010/6/27)

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Philip Legge (2010/6/27)

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Philip Legge (2010/6/27)

Editor First edition
Publisher. Info. London: Oxford University Press, 1953
Reprinted 1968
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General Information

Work Title Sinfonia Antarctica
Alternative. Title Symphony No.7
Composer Vaughan Williams, Ralph
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 5 movements
I. Prelude: Andante maestoso
II. Scherzo: Moderato
III. Landscape: Lento –
IV. Intermezzo: Andante sostenuto
V. Epilogue: Alla marcia, moderato (non troppo allegro)
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1952
First Performance. 1953-01-14
Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli (conductor)
First Publication. 1953
Language [none]
Dedication Ernest Irving
Average DurationAvg. Duration 42 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Early 20th century
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation Soprano, Women's Chorus and Orchestra
3 Flutes (3rd also Piccolo), 2 Oboes, English Horn,
2 Clarinets and Bass Clarinet (all in B), 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon
4 Horns (in F), 3 Trumpets (in B), 3 Trombones, Tuba
Timpani, Triangle, Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal, Side-Drum, Tenor Drum, Bass Drum, Gong, Bells, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Wind Machine, Celesta, Harp, Piano, Organ, Strings


Misc. Comments

The score of each movement is prefaced by a quote (appearing on page iv of the OUP edition):

  1. Prelude: Andante maestoso
    To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite,
    To forgive wrongs darker than death or night,
    To defy power which seems omnipotent,
    Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent:
    This … is to be
    Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free,
    This is alone life, joy, empire and victory.
    Shelley: Prometheus Unbound
  2. Scherzo: Moderato
    There go the ships
    and there is that Leviathan
    whom thou hast made to take his pastime therein.
    Psalm 104
  3. Landscape: Lento
    Ye ice falls! Ye that from the mountain’s brow
    Adown enormous ravines slope amain—
    Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
    And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge!
    Motionless torrents! Silent cataracts!
    Coleridge: Hymn before Sunrise, in the Vale of Chamouni
  4. Intermezzo: Andante sostenuto
    Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime
    Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
    Donne: The Sun Rising
  5. Epilogue: Alla marcia, moderato (non troppo allegro)
    I do not regret this journey; we took risks, we
    knew we took them, things have come out against
    us, therefore we have no cause for complaint.
    Captain Scott’s last journal
Symphonies by Ralph Vaughan Williams