Vaughan Williams’ “Whither Must I Wander?”: Bryn Terfel

The twentieth century brought a revival of the English art song, which had fallen fallow after the death of Henry Purcell in 1695. (William M. Adams) Central to this revival was Ralph Vaughan Williams, a composer who drew inspiration frequently from England’s distant musical past.

First published in the magazine, The Vocalist, in 1902, Whither Must I Wander? became part of Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel. The cycle of nine songs, originally written for baritone voice, is drawn from the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson. The text of Whither Must I Wander? is a bittersweet reflection on the inexorable passage of time. As described in the poem’s final stanza, even the renewal of Spring cannot restore the comfort and security of childhood. Flowing and dignified, Vaughan Williams’ strophic song begins with a brief piano introduction which seems to cry out in anguish and lament. The warm memories of the song provide a refuge, yet the icy final chord returns to melancholy.

This recording features the Welsh bass-baritone, Bryn Terfel, accompanied by Malcolm Martineau:


  • Vaughan Williams: Whither Must I Wander? (Songs of Travel), Bryn Terfel, Malcolm Martineau Amazon

Featured Image: “A View of Loch Lomond,” Horatio McCulloch

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.

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