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British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams is one of the most eminent of 20th-century composers. He has been credited with establishing a "new nationalist style based on English folk traditions." He systematically rejected foreign Romantic influences and sought inspiration from native material, including Elizabethan and Jacobean music as well as English folk songs. He began collecting traditional folk songs from the counties of Somerset and Norfolk in 1902, and ultimately collected more than 800. Adapting their modal harmonies and striking rhythms, he created an entirely individual style. This suite, written in the early 1920s, blends his own ideas with well-known folk songs. He also composed nine symphonies and four operas and was active with amateur music groups, conducting and composing for choirs, brass bands and film. --James Huff 23:44, March 25, 2007 (EDT) (from the program notes of The Claremont Winds, submitted with permission)

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