Jaren Hinckley

Composer / Clarinetist


I’m Listening to Everything Composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams

December 9, 2013



TITLE: On Christmas Night


DESCRIPTION OF THE PIECE: This piece was written as a half hour ballet that essentially tells the story of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”   I’d love to see this as a ballet.  I think it would be fantastic and perhaps a nice break from Tchaikovsky’s overdone (but wonderful!) “Nutcracker.”  Here’s a brief excerpt from the 2nd section in the ballet (“Marley’s Ghost”). This is reminiscent of Dukas’ “Sorceror’s Apprentice” as well as dozens of film scores.

HIGHLIGHT:  The final scene is the highlight for me, mainly because I can imagine seeing it as a ballet and I suspect (know) it would make me cry. From a description I found online:

Arising from a mysterious Lento, an off-stage voice sings The First Nowell, soon joined by the chorus. The backcloth displays the Madonna and child, as in an Italian picture, and the procession of the Nativity enters. All kneel except Scrooge who remains outside the group. Tiny Tim notices this, goes to him, takes his hand and leads him in where he kneels with the others. With bells a-ringing, everyone joins in to sing ‘Nowell, Nowell’ before the ballet closes peacefully.


Listen to it, imagine the above, and, if you feel so inclined, let me know what you think!

I also found the entire piece in a concert performance (non-ballet)—it’s a wonderful performance (although they didn’t use any singers—just orchestra).  Whoever uploaded it to YouTube broke it up into three parts; I’ve included all three links below.






WHAT’S LEFT TO LISTEN TO BY VAUGHAN WILLIAMS?: A very large amount of music, including five ballets and five operas.