Vaughan Williams: Job. Symphony No. 9

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Job was inspired by a set of early 19th-century illustrations by William Blake. The composer was developing a distinctively English style of ballet, and the music includes aristocratic dance forms from the Tudor era such as the pavane, galliard, and saraband. But Job is no benign entertainment of nostalgic nationalism. The work is thoroughly modern in its psychological depth and dramatic power, presenting the familiar story of a man whose faith is severely tested. The music is vividly programmatic, as with the monumental climax that comes when the protagonist finally curses God. Andrew Davis fully understands Vaughan …