Tony Palmer directs this in-depth documentary biography of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. The film includes interviews with many of those who knew and worked with the composer, as well as recently-discovered interviews with the man himself and contributions from Harrison Birtwhistle, John Adams, Richard Thompson, Mark Anthony Turnage, Barbara Dickson, Michael Tippett and Neil Tennant of The Pet Shop Boys.
"His latest effort is a superb, stirring biography of the towering English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). Piecing together a chronological timeline of Vaughan Williams' life and art, Palmer adroitly uses vintage interviews with the composer and his widow Ursula plus new interviews with other composers, colleagues, and friends to paint a complicated portrait of an agnostic who wrote some of the most emotional and spiritual music of the 20th century..." -- Timesquare.com
"Tony Palmer's film is now complete. Undoubtedly controversial it will also be very important in raising awareness of RVW. Two and a half hours long, it looks at Vaughan Williams' life as a disturbed and frustrated one. Powerful with some harrowing imagery, the film firmly dispels the myth that VW was a cuddly folk song collector and recycler who was affectionately known as "Uncle Ralph". As well as exploring his musical legacy, Palmer also focuses on the human side of VW. His frustration at living in a cosy market town, looking after an invalid wife (which he did devotedly) and the fury as well as the kindness and humanity which were all features of his remarkable character and which in their turn affected his music. The music passages are superbly played and filmed. The film is available on DVD. An absolute must see." -- www.rvwsociety.com