Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958): Three Shakespeare Songs – No 2: The cloud-capp’d towers

The second of Vaughan Williams’ Three Shakespeare Songs is a setting of Prospero’s great speech from Act IV, Scene 1 of The Tempest. The Cloud-capp’d towers’ opening chords give the impression of floating in the air as Vaughan Williams invokes Shakespeare’s imagery of towers, palaces, temples and ‘the great globe itself‘. All of this is in the service of bringing home to us our ephemerality marvellously portrayed by the chordal procession at ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on‘. Enjoy :-).


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