In his 7th symphony, English composer Ralph Vaughan-Williams uses music he composed for the 1948 film, Scott of Antarctica, which documents Robert Scott's disastrous 1912 attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole. The expedition was a double failure: The Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen reached the Pole before Scott's group and, on the return journey, Scott's whole party perished. Vaughan-Williams captures the essence of the heroic spirit both in the music and in the literary citations that precede each movement. In the Prelude, he quotes the last lines of Shelley's Prometheus Unbound:
To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite, To forgive wrongs darker than death or night, To defy power which seems omnipotent Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent: This ... is to be Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free, This is alone Life, Joy, Empire and ...
Tanis Rideout talks about Above All Things here:
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The Angel of Losses
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