This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of England's greatest composers - Ralph Vaughan Williams. Faber Music is proud to publish some of his major choral works, many of which are being performed in this important year.
 
The visionary and mystical oratorio, Sancta Civitas (The Holy City), is Vaughan Williams' favourite work amongst his choral output. The powerful 32-minute composition sets passages from The Book of Revelations and is scored for both tenor and baritone soloists, SATB chorus, semi-chorus, distant choir and orchestra. View score of new edition.
 
The Mass in G Minor is possibly RVW's most performed choral work, beloved of professional and amateur choirs the world over. It draws on the composer's love of Tudor church music and, like the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, divides the performers into a double choir with four soloists. Designed to be sung a cappella, it can (at the composer's suggestion) be accompanied by the ad lib organ part.
 
The Three Choral Hymns dates from 1929 and were premiered under the composer's baton at the Leith Hill Festival, Dorking in 1930. The 12-minute settings exist in versions for baritone (or tenor) solo, SATB choir and orchestra (either full or chamber), and also SATB choir and organ/piano. They set to texts by Bishop Myles Coverdale (1488-1569), one of the earliest translators of The Bible.
 
Vaughan Williams' 1909 incidental music to Aristophanes' comedy, The Wasps, is known to many through its rollicking overture and orchestral suite. Less well-known is the recent performing version of the complete incidental music, recast for concert performance with English texts and narration by David Pountney, and recorded by the Hall√© Orchestra and Choir with Sir Mark Elder. The subsequent Faber publication was the first time that the choral music from The Wasps had been made available. 
 
Lasting 105 minutes it's scored for narrator, two male solo voices and a choir of male voices. Unusually for Vaughan Williams, the music slyly quotes other composers: Offenbach, Mendelssohn, Lehar and even his teacher, Parry. The music foreshadows later Vaughan Williams scores such as The Pilgrim's Progress and Serenade to Music, whilst the much-loved hymn-like melody of The Wasps Overture returns in a sumptuous choral version towards the close.
 
For more information please see our online Vaughan Williams brochure.