Ralph Vaughan Williams was born on 12 October 1872 in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, where his father, the Reverend Arthur Vaughan Williams (1834-1875), was vicar at All Saints Church. The surname Vaughan Williams is an unhyphenated double-barrelled name of Welsh origin.
At the age of six Vaughan Williams began piano and basic composition lessons with his aunt. He started playing the violin at the age of seven. In January 1887, at the age of fourteen, he attended Charterhouse School, which was one of the few schools at the time to encourage musical expression. After Charterhouse he attended the Royal College of Music (RCM) under Charles Villiers Stanford. He read history and music at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Vaughan Williams's composition developed slowly and it was not until he was 30 that the song "Linden Lea" became his first publication. He mixed composition with conducting, lecturing, and editing other music, notably that of Henry Purcell and the English Hymnal.
In 1904 Vaughan Williams discovered English folk songs and carols, which were fast becoming extinct because the oral tradition through which they existed was being undermined by an increase in literacy and the availability of printed music in rural areas. He travelled the countryside, transcribing and preserving many himself. Later, he incorporated some songs and melodies into his own music, being fascinated by the beauty of the music and its anonymous history in the working lives of ordinary people. His efforts did much to raise appreciation of traditional English folk song and melody.
This piece is a prelude on the welsh hymn tune Rhosymedre, the middle of a set of three. The name has no literal translation into English, but I do hope you find this interpretation to live up to the tune's alternative name of "Lovely".