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Vaughan Williams: The Lake In The Mountains

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A musical oasis. . .

In 1941, Vaughan Williams wrote his first film score to the movie The 49th Parallel, one of the most notable British films made during World War II. The film stars such acting greats as Laurence Olivier and Leslie Howard and tells the story of six Nazi officers who are stranded in Canada after escaping from their damaged submarine. They make an attempt to sneak into the US, which in early 1941 was still a neutral country. For one scene of the film, “The Lake in the Mountains,” Vaughan Williams decided to score the scene with only a solo piano. The music evokes the beauty of the Canadian landscape until the harmonies suddenly shift to indicate the arrival of the Nazis.

Music Heard On This Episode

Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lake in the Mountains
Ian Brown, piano — Vaughan Williams: Violin Sonata; String Quartet No. 2 (Hyperion UK, 2002)
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album cover
Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lake in the Mountains
Ian Brown, piano — Vaughan Williams: Violin Sonata; String Quartet No. 2 (Hyperion UK, 2002)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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