Vaughan Williams, Ralph
Following on from their highly acclaimed cycle of the 9 Vaughan Williams symphonies, Andrew Manze and the RLPO have recorded a spectacular Job, taken from a live performance at the famed Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. RVW’s inspiration for Job arose from William Blake’s illustrations for The Book of Job, a collection of water colours from 1805, and the later engravings from 1822. 1928 was the centenary of Blake’s death, and RVW attempted to interest Serge Diaghilev, the foremost artistic power in the world of ballet to take it up but to no avail. The work has since become a concert piece after a handful of staged performances in the early 1930s. The score is in 9 sections telling the story of Job. The music is notable for its dramatic contrasts. The music for God being powerful and majestic, that for Satan is powerfully dissonant with a violence that foreshadows music encountered in the 4th and 6th symphonies and the piano concerto. RVW had seen service in France in the First World War, and what he saw there undoubtedly coloured his musical language, and the horrors endured by Job are depicted in some of RVVs most driven and dissonant music.