The critical school which claims that Vaughan Williams wrote solely in a comfortable pastoral style needs to check its facts, especially in the face of the extraordinary setting of words from the prophet Ezekiel. A vision of aeroplanes
was written for Harold Darke (who had conducted the first performances of the Te Deum in G
) and was first performed under his direction on 4 June 1956. With its cataclysmic organ writing and whirling voice-parts it is a highly imaginative setting without a trace of pastoralism. Epic in style and proportion, the ‘vision’ has more than a hint of the film scores which had preoccupied Vaughan Williams for the previous ten years.
from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2005