Vaughan Williams Mass in G minor
A work of outstanding beauty and conciseness

Cooke’s Tour 11: Vaughan Williams Mass in G minor
Richard Cooke’s introduction:

“The G minor Mass recalls the earlier traditions of the 16th century, with Vaughan Williams modal style embedded. VW had collected a number of old English folk songs and hymns which influenced him a good deal and appeared in the English Hymnal which he was involved in compiling. However, the comparison with earlier centuries can only go so far. This is a work of outstanding beauty and conciseness, as were the masses of Byrd and his contemporaries…”
Richard Cooke

Ralph Vaughan Williams Mass in G minor on Youtube:
Mass in G minor: Kyrie (Choir of Westminster Abbey)
Mass in G Minor: Kyrie (The Choir of St John’s College Cambridge)
Mass in G minor (Stephen Darlington)

Photo (above):
Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst walking in the Malvern Hills, September 1921 (the same year he wrote this work).

The composers Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) and Gustav Holst (1874–1934) first met in 1895, and formed a lifelong friendship. The 1921 Three Choirs Festival, held in Hereford, featured the music of both composers. After the festival they went on holiday together and took long walks in the Herefordshire countryside. This photo was taken on a walk in the Malvern Hills by fellow composer W.G. Whittaker.

Canterbury Choral Society Music Director, Richard Cooke, is sharing his favourite works to give some musical nourishment in these difficult, isolated times. ‘Cooke’s Tour’ is a weekly musical voyage (not necessarily choral music) that music lovers can enjoy without leaving home. You can see his introductory video on Royal Choral Society YouTube channel.

Join Richard Cooke’s music tour at or follow on Canterbury Choral Society Twitter or #CookesTour.

As well as Canterbury Choral Society, Richard Cooke is Music Director of Royal Choral Society and University of Essex Choir.