A melody, music, often evokes or expresses thoughts and emotions, where words simply fail. Throughout time, simple songs to great symphonies have been created to express sorrow, lament, mourning, and joy, responding to current realities or personal experiences.
Over the next few days, musical selections will be posted, offering examples of the many ways these emotions have been expressed in a variety of genre, from simple folk tunes, popular songs, spirituals, and classical compositions.
The first is “The Lark Ascending” by English composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, completed right after World War I and premiered in 1920. It is inspired by the 1881 poem of the same name by the English writer George Meredith.
Music critic Jeffrey Davis writes,
“At one level it seems to be an idyll of rural England [but] in view of its composition on the eve of the First World War, there is perhaps an underlying layer of sadness to the music. Rather like the Edwardian era, as viewed retrospectively from the other side of World War One, it seems to reflect nostalgia for a partly mythological lost age of innocence.”
On the header, photo by Ómar Runólfsson / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)