Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

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Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is a work written in 1910 by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, and premiered that same year to great success. The piece, scored for string orchestra, was created using a melody which renaissance composer Thomas Tallis wrote in 1567 to contribute to the Psalter for the Archbishop of Canterbury. Vaughan Williams' Fantasia derives most of its material from this melody, with the music growing from certain motives. The work is scored for a string orchestra, which is divided in three: a full orchestra, a single desk from each section, and a quartet. There are also indications that the second orchestra should be apart from the first. The Fantasia was twice revised, in 1913 and 1919. A standard performance lasts about 15 minutes.

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Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis



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