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Noon Edition

Explorations Podcast

This week on Ether Game’s Weekly Music Quiz Podcast, the Brain Trust is setting sail, looking at some musical "Explorations!" Can you name this wayfaring tune? (The answer is below) Remember to keep your ears out for a portion of Tuesday night’s Teaser selection. And don’t forget to tune into the full show on Tuesday, January 9th at 8:00pm for a chance to win a prize!

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958): SONGS OF TRAVEL: Whither Must I Wander?

Bryn Terfel, baritone; Malcolm Martineau, piano. The Vagabond (Deutsche Grammophon)

Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote his “Songs Of Travel” in 1901, and it was his answer to song cycles like Die Schoene Mullerin or Winterreise… the wayfaring song cycles of Franz Schubert. “Songs Of Travel” is set to poetry from a collection of the same name by Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson was fascinated by folk culture and folk songs. The difference between folk songs and most other songs today is that the words and music are not always permanently linked. In folk music, new words are often sung to some existing tune. For instance, Stevenson was Scottish, and was very interested in the work of his fellow Scotsman Robert Burns. Burns had tried his hand at writing “new” folk music. So while we often think of the poem “Whither Must I Wander” as being associated with Vaughan Williams melody, Stevenson had something else in mind. He set it to one of Burns’ melodies, a melody called “Wandering Willie.”

Music Heard On This Episode

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