Malcolm Sargent on Vaughan Williams’ Sixth Symphony

Conductor Malcolm Sargent on Vaughan Williams’ Sixth Symphony:

A frightening symphony. For a symphony to be frightening is perhaps a good thing. Here we have the complete testament of a man who, in his seventies, looks back on the human sufferings of his time. I never conduct the Sixth without feeling that I am walking across bomb sites. . . . Chaos, despair, desolation and the peace that flows from desolation.

Charles Reid (1968) Malcolm Sargent. London: Hamish Hamilton, p.357.
Cited in: Holmes, John (1993) Conductors on Composers. Westport: Greenwood, p.195.