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CHAN 10244
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CHAN 10244
The Film Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Volume 2

Vaughan Williams: The Film Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Volume 2

The Classical Shop
release date: August 2004

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2003


BBC Philharmonic

Rumon Gamba

Emily Gray


Martin Hindmarsh


Chethams Chamber Choir


Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester


Ralph Couzens

Brian Pidgeon



Stephen Rinker

Record Label
Chandos Movies


Orchestral & Concertos

Film & TV Music

Total Time - 70:30
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Please Note: On Mp3 format an unavoidable click may be heard on segue track breaks, to avoid this issue please select lossless or better

The Film Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Volume 2

Select Complete Single Disc for


  premiere recording in this suite  

49th Parallel

  Suite edited by Stephen Hogger  
1 Prelude [opening titles] 2:13
2 Prologue 11:20
3 Control Room Alert 2:03
4 Hudson Bay Post 1:27
5 Looting the Store 0:46
6 Death of Kühnecke 1:57
7 Hutterite Settlement (a) Anna's Volkslied 3:14
 Emily Gray soprano
8 Hutterite Settlement (b) The Wheat Harvest 1:47
9 Winnipeg I 2:50
10 Winnipeg II 1:08
11 Nazi March 3:15
12 Indian Music I 0:29
13 Indian Music II 1:00
14 Indian Music III 0:46
15 Nazis on the run & The Lake in the Mountains 2:08
16 Prelude [closing titles] 2:12
  The music for the opening and closing titles is published by Oxford University Press as 'Prelude to the 49th Parallel'  
  premiere recording of complete vesion  

The Dim Little Island

  Partially reconstructed by Stephen Hogger  
  Moderato - Allegro moderato - Lento - Adagio  
 Martin Hindmarsh tenor
  premiere recording in this suite  

The England of Elizabeth

  Suite edited by Stephen Hogger  
18 I Titles. Allegro maestoso - Street scene - Countryside. 9:40
  Andante tranquillo - Tudor houses. Lento - Portraits. Allegro maestoso - Elizabeth. Allegro maestoso - Hatfield - Tintern. Lento - King's College  
19 II Books. Andante con moto - Seaman. Allegro animato - 3:32
  Dance. Allegro moderato - Country wedding. Allegro vivace - London. Lento  
20 III Stratford. Andante tranquillo - Maps - Red Indians - 5:24
  River Avon - Charlcote. Lento - Deer. Più mosso - Road to London. Allegretto - Armada. Allegro - The Aftermath. Largo sostenuto  
21 IV Treasures. Allegretto (Tempo da Gavotte) - 2:14
  New houses. Allegro maestoso - Yeoman interior. Allegretto tranquillo  
22 V King's College. Largo - River Avon. Andante - 3:29
  Final scenes. Allegro maestoso  
Chandos Movies is one of the best known film music labels in the industry, and has received tremendous critical acclaim. The series is especially associated with the conductor Rumon Gamba, whose understanding and enthusiasm for the form shines through. Vaughan Williams’s film music ranks amongst the very finest ever written, and this CD contains some excellent examples. What makes this disc so important is that some of the material has never been recorded before, music which has been painstakingly assembled by Chandos’ in-house arranger and music researcher, Stephen Hogger. The result is a hugely important release which will be of interest to both film music buffs and fans of Vaughan Williams.

Premiere recording of the extended suites of 49th Parallel and The England of Elizabeth, and the premiere recording of the complete version of The Dim Little Island.

Part of Chandos’ highly successful Film Music Series.

Volume I received tremendous critical acclaim.

Vaughan Williams was introduced to writing for the cinema in 1940 when he was nearly sixty-eight, by Muir Matheison, director of music for the Ministry of Information. Mathieson was working on the Ministry’s only major feature film production, 49th Parallel. He went to see Vaughan Williams in Dorking, Surrey and found him strangely depressed at his inability to play a fuller part in the war… I told him the story of 49th Parallel and tried to show how the cinema could help to achieve those very objectives for which he was striving… He set to work right away…

The aim of the film, which featured Eric Portman, Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, Raymond Massey, Anton Walbrook and Glynis Johns, was, in the words of its director, to ‘scare the pants off the Americans and bring them into the war sooner’. The plot concerns five members of a stranded Nazi U-boat crew making their way across Canada in the hope of crossing the 49th parallel into the neutral United States. Vaughan Williams’s masterly score contains jazzy episodes prophetic of the Sixth Symphony. Stretches of pastoral music remind us that he was simultaneously working on his Fifth Symphony.

The England of Elizabeth, a British Transport Commission documentary, is a moving evocation of Tudor England with nothing ‘tea-shoppe’ about it. The use of folksong- and folk-dance-influenced music intensifies the atmosphere of an extraordinarily exuberant and poetic score. What is recorded here is virtually the original, almost continuous, film score, complete with choral contribution.

The Dim Little Island was made in 1949 for the Central Office of Information. In this avowedly propagandist film the voices of four narrators – John Ormiston (industrialist), Osbert Lancaster (artist), James Fisher (naturalist) and Vaughan Williams, are heard answering the claim that Britain had gone downhill since the war.

The contribution being made by Chandos to the preservation and reassessment of British film music has to be one of the most important projects undertaken by the classical recording industry in the past decade… as with Volume 1, this CD is a must for any Vaughan Williams enthusiast.
Music from the Movies

'Without question, performance and sonics are up to the high standards set by the first volume, while the booklet is informative and helpful' Rumon Gamba, as with all of his exemplary compilations of British film music, really makes this grand entertainment come alive.'
American Record Guide

Like everything else on this CD it [Elizabeth of England] is performed with tremendous dedication and perception, and the Chandos recording is spacious and vivid. Excellent presentation, too, not least for including stills from the films.

'Rumon Gamba draws a polished and wholehearted respinse from all involved (the BBC Philharmonic is in fine fettle at the moment). The Chandos recording has striking body and lustre; exemplary presentation, too. Very strongly recommended.'

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