Ravel’s influence on Vaughan Williams

In 1908, after a period of intense period of immersion in English music due to his role as editor of Hymns Ancient and Modern, Vaughan Williams “came to the conclusion that I was lumpy and stodgy, had come to a dead-end, and that a little French polish would be of use to me.” (1) He studied with Maurice Ravel, who gave him advice on texture and orchestration. Vaughan Williams recalled that he and Ravel became “great friends and I learnt much from him. For example that the heavy contrapuntal Teutonic manner was not necessary … He showed me how to orchestrate in points of colour rather than in lines.” (2)

(1) Holmes, Paul (1997) Vaughan Williams. London: Omnibus Press, p.36.
(2) Ibid.