Known for its lush, expansive music for string orchestra, not only is the 'Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis' one of Vaughan Williams's most cherished works, it was named amongst the nation's favourite pieces in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2021. Also known as the 'Tallis Fantasia', its beautiful theme originates from another English musician, the 16th-century composer Thomas Tallis. The original being a 50 second chorale piece called "Why fum'th in fight: the Gentiles spite".
Vaughan Williams wrote the piece during one of his most fruitful periods of composition, after being commissioned by the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival. In the end, he presented a landmark piece that his biographer James Day calls 'unquestionably the first work by Vaughan Williams that is recognizably and unmistakably his and no one else's'. It became the work to cement Vaughan Williams' reputation not only at home, but across the rest of Europe.
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis - Why fum'th in fight: The Gentiles Spite
Creating a different musical painting?