Vaughan Williams’ “Silent Noon”: Serene, Pastoral Bliss

The music of Ralph Vaughan Williams returns frequently to the serene, pastoral majesty of “England’s green and pleasant land.”

We hear these shimmering, sensuous allusions in Vaughan Williams’ 1903 song, Silent Noon. The song, which was later incorporated into the cycle, The House of Life, is a setting of a dreamy sonnet by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The poem evokes a kind of blissful harmony with nature, experienced by two lovers on a summer day amid the “long fresh grass” of a gleaming pasture.

This performance, from a 2004 album, features the Welsh bass-baritone, Bryn Terfel, and pianist Malcolm Martineau:

Recordings

Featured Image: “Salisbury Cathedral from Lower Marsh Close” (1820), John Constable

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

2 thoughts on “Vaughan Williams’ “Silent Noon”: Serene, Pastoral Bliss”

  1. Williams was Charles Darwin’s great nephew. His wife said of him: “He was an atheist during his later years at Charterhouse and at Cambridge, though he later drifted into a cheerful agnosticism: he was never a professing Christian.”

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