My son, Tom, popped into the office last night. Vaughan Williams Symphony No.3 - the Pastoral - happened to be playing. It was a recording with Sir Adrian Boult conducting, picked up off the latest edition of the BBC Music magazine, about which I'd been tipped off earlier in the day by a pal on Twitter.
After a particularly bucolic passage during the second movement, I asked him what the music brought to mind for him.
He listened intently for a minute and then said “Lots of pictures of the countryside.”
“Any country in particular?” I asked.
“England” he said without a moments hesitation.
“Green fields, old trees, cottages. Like the kind of thing you see in old black and white films where the camera looks over hills and up to the sky.”
It's a source of endless fascination to me the way in which Vaughan Williams' music captures and distils a sense of landscape and its essence.