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O THOU TRANSCENDENT

Tony Palmer | 2004 | 148 MINS
UK
The first ever full-length film biography of the great composer, produced by the multi-award-winning director, Tony Palmer.

In Detail

Featuring many of those who knew and worked with him, including the Gloucester Cathedral Choir, conducted by Andrew Nethsingha, and archive performances by Boult and Barbirolli.

Also contains newly discovered interviews with Vaughan Williams himself, specially recorded extracts from ‘The Symphonies’, ‘Job’, ‘The Lark Ascending’ and of course ‘The Tallis Fantasia’. Includes unexpected contributions from the late Harrison Birtwistle, John Adams, Richard Thompson, Mark Anthony Turnage, Barbara Dickson, Michael Tippett and Neil Tennant of The Pet Shop Boys.

Using comments from and interviews with around forty people who had dealings with the man or who have been inspired by him, the film then sets out to discover the real Vaughan Williams. As Palmer writes, "the main thrust of my film... is about the man himself... My intention is not hagiography. It is simply this: to explode for ever the image of a cuddly old uncle." (Or, as the late Harrison Birtwistle puts it, Mr Badger from ‘Wind in the Willows'.)

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