Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus
Ralph Vaughan Williams
The third highest of Vaughan Williams's 8 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This entered the Hall of Fame in 2000 and has remained in the chart ever since, peaking at number 39 in 2014.
Much like The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, the Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus contains superbly sumptuous string writing, with sweeping melodies stretching across the orchestra, underpinned by deep and resonant harmonies.
It was first performed by the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in June 1939, under the baton of Sir Adrian Boult. Later that year, Boult conducted the British premiere at Bristol's Colston Hall.
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