Three Elizabethan Partsongs

The Art of Ralph Vaughan Williams deals with textexpression in the collection of  “Three Elizabethan Part Songs”. By which method the composer sheds new light on three independent texts by William Shakespeare and George Herbert. And proves them an unity. Parts One and Two of this article investigate the anomalies in the composition of the poems themselves. Part Three investigates similar anomalies in their musical settings. Anomalies that turn three independent songs into an equally close knit unity. In the process proving that the scores have been antedated.

Comments on this paper are welcome, and can be submitted by the links to my e-mail adress.


PART ONE ; or, an impossible combination


PART TWO ; or, adults only

PART THREE ; or, revolutionary art

On the original site the sequel was offered under conditions that do not apply anymore. But in the spirit of RVW’s 5 English Folk Songs you are free to ignore that fact. What I wrote over a decade ago, is after all still a matter of urgency :

Parts 2 & 3

Part One was for free. But in modern times one has to live by the inflexible rules of economy. Which is more and more becoming a matter of survival of the cleverest. In Darfur (Sudan), for instance, refugees simply die because they left home without securing first the means to pay the € 5,= a person a year that would cover their medical care.

So you are very welcome to read Part Two, but please come to aid first. NOT to my aid, – I am clever enough to take care of myself – but to any charity of your own choice. Please let me know what this paper will contribute to society, and you’ll get a pdf-copy in return. As you will donate to a cause you consider worth the money yourself, I can trust you not to cheat. Nor to spread illegal copies. And if you can’t think of any charity to donate to, you can always send some change to those refugees in Darfur.

Follow the same procedure to acquire Part Three