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Illuminating Music and Poetry

The Edge of Beyond – Ralph Vaughan Williams in the First World War

by Stephen Connock

The Edge of Beyond – Ralph Vaughan Williams in the First World War is the first book to cover in detail Ralph Vaughan Williams’s experiences in the First World War. The book includes original research on the composer’s period of service in the British Army between 31 December 1914 and his final demobilisation on 15 July 1919. There is also a pivotal chapter, called ‘With rue my heart is laden’, that explores the impact of the war on Vaughan Williams’s music, focusing on the Pastoral Symphony, Sancta Civitas and Riders to the Sea. Stephen Connock refers to these three inspired works as the composer’s ‘Great War Trilogy’.

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