for narrator, SATB chorus and chamber or string orchestra
An Oxford Elegy combines adapted versions of The Scholar Gypsy and Thyrsis by Victorian poet Matthew Arnold. It conveys the story of an Oxford scholar who abandons his friends and studies to live in the countryside surrounding the city as a gypsy. The work is unusual in the fact that the text is largely spoken by a narrator, with the chorus providing mostly wordless accompaniment. The result is a highly atmospheric and evocative work that combines pastoral simplicity
with darker, more melancholic passages. Scores and parts for the string and chamber orchestra accompaniments are available on hire.
Vaughan Williams has come to be regarded as one of the finest British composers of the 20th century. He has a particularly wide-ranging catalogue of works, including choral works, symphonies, concerti, and opera. His searching and visionary imagination, combined with a flexibility in writing for all levels of music-making, has meant that his music is as popular today as it ever has been.