The first ever full-length film biography of the great man, produced by the multi-award-winning director Tony Palmer, is to be shown on Channel Five on New Year's day.
'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
With many of those who knew and worked with him, including the Gloucester Cathredal Choir, conducted by Andrew Nethsingha,
• archive performances by Boult and BarBbirolli,
• newly discovered interviews with Vaughan Williams himself,
• specially recorded extracts from The Symphonies, Job, The Lark Ascending and of course The Tallis Fantasia
• And with unexpected contributions from Harrison Birtwistle, John Adams, Richard Thomspon, Mark Anthony Turnage, Barbara Dickson, Michael Tippet & Neil Tennant of The Pet Shop Boys.