Ralph Vaughan Williams

Loch Lomond, folk song for baritone & male chorus

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Early in his career Vaughan Williams developed an intense interest in folk music and in 1903 began collecting British folk songs. He was very much the English counterpart to Bartók and Kodály in this endeavor. In the end, he amassed over 800 folk songs, and down through the years arranged many for a variety of vocal combinations. "Loch Lomond" is an arrangement of a popular Scottish air for unaccompanied tenor and baritone voices, and baritone soloist.

    The original folk song is familiar even to many Americans and Europeans. In the Williams arrangement it opens with the baritone soloist singing, "By you bonny banks and you bonny braes/Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond." The chorus joins in shortly and the results are quite lovely, the melody serene and thoroughly memorable, the vocal writing simple but skilled. When the chorus sings "O you'll take the high road and I'll take the low road/And I'll be in Scotland afore ye," the music's folkish character emerges with a charming sentimental sense that few can resist. The title of the song refers to the Scottish waterway, the largest inland body of water in all of Britain. For those interested in folk music, this attractive arrangement will have obvious appeal, and many others will also find it charming.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Signum Classics SIGCD 447
    2015 ABC Classics 4811981
    2014 Teldec 2564641038
    2012 Genuin GEN 12224
    2011 Apex / Erato 2564675459
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099902900124
    2010 Albion 006
    2008 Vanguard Classics 193
    2008 ABC Classics 4766906
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099920799
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099921615
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099920663
    2008 Rhino
    2005 Pro Organo 7164
    1997 Vanguard 8109
    1997 EMI Music Distribution 69599
    1997 Teldec 0630166762
    1995 Hyperion 66777
    1991 Telarc Distribution CD-80275
    1991 Delos 3125
    Haverford School