Since my diverse tastes in classical music parallel my diverse tastes in popular music...
The most famous pupil of French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) wrote some of the most beautiful music ever. For many years an atheist and late in life an agnostic, Vaughan Williams nevertheless composed and arranged much religious choral and instrumental music during his long and productive musical career. He composed nine symphonies, each different and unique from one another...
His three most popular works are perhaps, in no particular order: 1) Fantasia on 'Greensleeves' arr. Ralph Greaves
, taken from his opera Sir John in Love
(1924-1928); 2) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
(1910); and 3) The Lark Ascending
Here are a couple of Vaughan William musical works, the first several English folk songs he arranged for military band and later orchestrated by fellow British composer Gordon Jacob (1895-1984), and the second a supremely beautiful setting for violin and orchestra of the George Meredith poem The Lark Ascending:
Ralph Vaughan Williams / English Folk Songs - Suite orch. Gordon Jacob
Ralph Vaughan Williams / The Lark Ascending Part 1 (Janine Jansen, violin; Barry Wordsworth, conductor; BBC Concert Orchestra)
Ralph Vaughan Williams / The Lark Ascending Part 2 (Janine Jansen, violin; Barry Wordsworth, conductor; BBC Concert Orchestra)