A Norfolk Rhapsody: Ralph Vaughan Williams in Kings Lynn
In early 1905, thirteen months into his enthusiastic collecting of folk songs, Ralph Vaughan Williams came to West Norfolk expressly to hear the community's traditional songs and note them down from the singers. He was uniquely well qualified to do it both by training, temperament and character. What he heard excited and inspired him. Through him, we can still hear the songs of a lost fishing community and their contemporaries. Through their songs he created great music which speaks to audiences across the world. Musicologists tend to skim over the week that Vaughan Williams spent in King's Lynn. But it was a week he never forgot and recalled clearly when he returned to the town nearly half a century later. He said he 'reaped a rich harvest' when he came to Lynn.
In this book, authors, Jill Bennett and Elizabeth James retrace his steps, find out more about the people he met, and see how his music was infused with the melodies and ideas he heard in the yards, the workhouse and the pubs of old King's Lynn. Vaughan Williams was one of those uncovering a rich and rapidly vanishing heritage.