These songs for tenor or soprano and oboe were composed for the film The Vision of William Blake, in which all except the second and third songs of the set were used alongside music from Job to form the soundtrack. The settings richly conjure the moods and sentiments of Blake's poems, the first nine of which are from Songs of Innocence and of Experience, with the final song setting words from his poem Auguries of Experience. The
oboe part may alternatively be played on the violin or on B-flat clarinet, though the composer stated that oboe was preferable.
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.
Infant Joy ; A Poison Tree ; The Piper ; London ; The Lamb ; The shepherd ; Ah! Sun-flower ; Cruelty has a human heart ; The divine image ; Eternity