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Customer Discussions > Classical Music forum

Vaughan Williams - Job: A Masque for Dancing

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Showing 1-25 of 38 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 25, 2012, 2:23:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012, 2:26:39 AM PDT
Pernickity says:
Went to see Respighi's Pines of Rome live in Brisbane but first had to endure 45 mins of Job by Vaughan Williams.

The only other works I've enjoyed less would be Dvorak's Symphony No. 6 and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8. Talk about note spinning.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012, 2:58:49 AM PDT
K. Beazley says:
You MUST be joking!!!

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 3:10:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012, 3:11:21 AM PDT
Blimey, Adrian - you can enjoy Allan Pettersson, and yet See Vaughan Williams as a "note spinner"! There's no accounting for taste! And Dvorak 6? It's up there with the next three he wrote in terms of quality. And Shostakovich 8? If you like the depressing stuff Pettersson has written, this, which is Pettersson with restraint, genuine pathos, and genius on top, must at least be enjoyable for you!

I will happily admit that I do not find Job to be among my favourite works by RVW, but the more I hear of Britain's finest composer (hornet's nest well and truly opened there...) the more I love his music. I used to find the Third Symphony as dull as hell, but I now consider it my favourite of his symphonies, and an absolute mmountain among 20th century symphonies. Give Job another listen......

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012, 3:35:47 AM PDT
Pernickity says:
I really enjoy the symphonies of Vaughan Williams, my favorite being the 9th. Seeing Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 was the highlight of the concert.

I have no problem with the music of Allan Pettersson, even the so-called difficult 13th symphony. Once I start listening to his works I find it hard to stop. Pettersson's music reminds me more of Beethoven than Mahler.

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 3:40:52 AM PDT
Vaughan Williams 9 - now there's an under-rated work.......

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 3:56:44 AM PDT
Pernickity says:
I also love the serene 5th symphony of Vaughan Williams between the angry 4th & 6th symphonies. Proves that a symphony need not be loud to have full impact. However either way you look at it Job is a dud.

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 4:55:06 AM PDT
Jim Ginn says:
there's a wonderful performance of Job by Boult on Everest,he also did a fine 9th. 4-5-and 6 make a great set and are VW at his best. after the election I am looking forward to more and better Jobs.

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 6:41:46 AM PDT
Lez Lee says:
Job was only the 2nd VW work I heard (Greensleeves was 1st - hated it) and I loved it immediately, still do. Of course it's not as 'good' as the symphonies but very enjoyable.

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 10:35:59 AM PDT
I've loved "Job" since I first heard it almost forty years ago...

Believe it or not, I've heard both "Job" and VW's Ninth in concert here in Seattle -- one of our local conductors is constantly programming Vaughan Williams' music, esp. the lesser-known works...this weekend he and his orchestra are performing "Old King Cole"!

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 10:40:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 29, 2012, 7:57:44 AM PDT
Here's the Adrian Boult performance
that I enjoyed very much. I feel
it's helpful to keep in mind that the
music was intended as a masque
or ballet, and I like the mysterious,
mystical feeling that Vaughan
Williams has written into much of
the score. ♬

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 11:04:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012, 6:00:28 PM PDT
Did some old-program- and are a few other rare Vaughan Williams works we've had performed in and around Seattle under the direction of Adam Stern:

Symphonies 2, 3, 5, 6, 9
Partita for Double String Orchestra
An Oxford Elegy
The Pilgrim's Progress: A Bunyan Sequence
The Running Set
Toccata Marziale

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012, 12:32:07 PM PDT
K. Beazley says:

What the "f" is a "Magniicat"?? ;-)


Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 1:26:11 PM PDT
the "f" is a "Magniicat"?? ;-)..
a cat that magnifies.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012, 1:45:42 PM PDT
K. Beazley says:
Thanks pJ, that was magniicent! ;-)

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, 6:01:33 PM PDT
It's a type-o, made in the sheer excitement of writing about one's avorite music!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012, 8:49:57 PM PDT
K. Beazley says:

If I were you I'd get that "f" button checked out. Just in case.....

Posted on Oct 26, 2012, 9:58:15 AM PDT
Dear K.,

Sorry, but I don't discuss my "f" button on public forums.

Posted on Oct 26, 2012, 10:55:14 AM PDT
Auntie Lynn says:
Our local ballet troupe did Job a few years ago, and it was really gripping...

Posted on Oct 26, 2012, 4:11:50 PM PDT
K. Beazley says:
For me "Job" is one of V-W's most varied, kaleidoscopic works, covering as it does so many vastly different moods & personalities. "Satan's Dance of Triumph" is surely one of the best depictions of the dark lord ever committed to music.


In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012, 5:16:50 PM PDT
K. Beazley says:

You are, as always, a model of circumcis....err, circumspection.

Posted on Oct 26, 2012, 6:51:38 PM PDT
John Spinks says:
I'm almost certain that Ken Russell used parts of Job in his 1978 film "Clouds of Glory" about the Wordsworths. That's probably where I first heard it, and when I was hooked life-long to Vaughan Williams's music.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 12:52:29 AM PDT
Dear K.,

Thanks for the tip.

Posted on Oct 27, 2012, 5:31:37 PM PDT
In my not so humble opinion, Job is not one of Vaughan Williams' best works. It's not bad, and Vaughan Williams fans will find much to enjoy. But as one of his fans, I find the music boring in spots, and the best material isn't up to his highest standards. And I agree that "Satan's Dance of Triumph" is one of the high points.


Posted on Oct 27, 2012, 5:41:05 PM PDT
In my equally not-so-humble opinion, "Job" stands with the best of Vaughan Williams' symphonies and his other excellent works. The treatment of themes, the multi-layered harmonies, the dramatic flow combine in a way that moves me very deeply; the final tableau before the Epilogue, wherein he combines two of the work's prominent melodies (the "Pavane of the Heavenly Host" and the "Altar Dance") I find positively sublime, as I do the Epilogue itself; the final gesture seems like a benediction in its bringing everything to a satisfying close.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2012, 4:59:15 AM PDT
The RVW Pastoral? misunderstood even by fellow Brit composers. A War Requiem before anyone else's, and a pantheistic one? Take the 3rd Movt and add a superscription "The Lads in their hundreds", or the natural trumpet in the 2nd - "And Bugles calling for them from sad shires". Not that I'm saying that was his intention, though he knew the Housman if not the Owen. And a feeling for man and nature far deeper than the pastoral poets. Note-spinning? Tightly-argued, interrelated thematic material, polytonal?, just because it's quiet for much of its length does not rob it of grandeur. The 4th, ?a parody of the Beethoven 5th? Try them back to back, it is a sobering experience either way round. And the 9th - well and truly underrrated when it came out. I heard it first on the Boult Everest recording from my library, and was well put-out by its dismissal. Hah, lived to see the smile on my face not theirs (later issued on World Records which is still in my library). 15 year old tops hi-falutin' critics or what? But back to the 3rd - a masterpiece for those with ears to ear, up there with any 20th century symphony and most of the others before it. Fitting for an "agnostic christian", a wordless requiem (for Pan as one commentator suggested?) Performances - well the original mono Boult LPO has a restraint and dignity, and in the transition after wordless soprano at the start of the 4th movement, a heartbreaking pathos unmatched since. Then the marvellous unhurried Previn/LSO as a joint favourite. Once I felt I had understood where it had come from, I found it harder to play but compelled time and again to rehear it.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  38
Initial post:  Oct 25, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 3, 2013

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