Music: A Doyen Sums Up

Britain's Ralph Vaughan Williams is a composer who bides his time. Primarily famed as a symphonist (he has composed six symphonies), he waited until he was 51 to write his first ballet score (Old King Cole); at 69 he composed his first film score (49th Parallel). Last week, at 78, the famed old doyen of English composers finally made his first bow in Covent Garden with an opera.

A composer with a lifelong interest in religion, Vaughan Williams had worked for two decades, off & on, at adapting his Pilgrim's Progress from John Bunyan's allegory. His admirers reported that Progress...

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