Vaughan Williams wrote his Symphony No. 8 between 1953 and 1955, when he was in his eighties. It is his shortest symphony, and is considered by many to be his least serious. Aside from a few sombre moments, the symphony is optimistic in mood and displays Vaughan Williams's love for exotic and colourful combinations of instruments, with a percussion sections that, he said, employs 'all the 'phones and 'spiels known to the composer'. For this newly engraved edition, editor David Lloyd-Jones has consulted all extant sources and materials to create a score matching the composer's intentions.