The last of Vaughan Williams’ operas and a labour of love for the composer for forty years, The Pilgrim’s Progress is today regarded as one of his finest works, brimming with expressive musical ideas. It tells of a pilgrim's journey to the Celestial City. He battles with The Devil, visits Vanity Fair, gets imprisoned and finds a pastoral idyll in the Delectable Mountains. The music is occasionally scary, at other times witty, but the overarching impression is one of visionary beauty and nobility. The opera exhibits all of Vaughan Williams’ range, from the Tallis Fantasia through the Pastoral Symphony, and a lifetime devoted to setting the greatest English poetry.
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