The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109312 Message #2284866
Posted By: Jack Campin
10-Mar-08 - 08:16 PM
Thread Name: Complex arrangments of traditional music
Subject: RE: Complex arrangments of traditional music
Vaughan Williams (no hyphen) actually didn't use folk melodies in his own compositions very often, and the vast majority of the folk tunes he knew about he left to their own devices. Some of his compositions ("The Lark Ascending" being the most successful) are a kind of PR for English music, but that's a very different project from trying to use his own oeuvre as a sort of artistic embalming fluid for moribund folklore. His best work is also his least folky - things like "Job" and the 4th Symphony.
Same goes for Beethoven. There are a few folk tunes in his work, rather more that sound like folk tunes but aren't, and a large majority that just sound like Beethoven.