for SATB wordless chorus, viola solo, and orchestra
A suite for solo viola, wordless chorus (SATB), and small orchestra, Flos Campi is one of Vaughan Williams's most enigmatic pieces. Although the six movements all borrow their titles from the Old Testament's Song of Solomon, the chorus never articulates a single word. Instead, it serves as a section of the orchestra, creating an elegant vocal texture and backdrop to the viola's haunting solo lines. The work was premiered in October 1925 by the violist Lionel Tertis, singers from the
RCM, and the Queen's Hall Orchestra, directed by Sir Henry Wood.
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.