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(this is a multiple CD album sold separately)
Vaughan Williams: The Wasps
The Classical Shop
release date: June 2010
Hallé Choir - James Burton Choral Director
Albert Halls, Bolton
Total Time - 104:54
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RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
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COMPACT DISC ONE
Procleon: 'Bastard! Bloody Lickspittle!'
No.2 Introduction (Nocturne)
No.3 Melodrama and Chorus
No.4 Chorus: The Wasps' Serenade
Procleon: 'Boys, Your song brings tears to my eyes...'
No.5 Chorus ('When we buzz...')
Procleon: 'Then all hell breaks loose'
No.6 Chorus ('If you survive your sixtieth year...')
Procleon: 'Imagine how it feels...'
No.7 Melodrama And Chorus
Procleon: 'So Sandra starts in...'
No.8 Melodrama And Chorus
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COMPACT DISC TWO
No.9 Entr'acte And Introduction
Procleon: 'Well, I was in the depths of depression...'
No.10 Melodrama And Chorus
Padre: 'Let the jury be seated'
No.11 March Past Of The Witnesses
Procleon: 'So, Wok, what's the evidence?'
No.12 Chorus: Parabasis
Procleon: 'So, how do you like my new outfit?'
No.14 Chorus ('His army cloak, His field canteen...')
No.15 Melodrama ('Out of my way...')
Procleon: 'Great wine they had at that dinner!'
No.16 Melodrama ('Ta-ratata-ta...')
No.17 Melodrama ('I must be dreaming!')
No.18 Chorus And Dance
Henry Goodman Narrator
Richard Suart Baritone
- Halle O, Mark Elder
‘Vaughan Williams composed his score for Aristophanes’ satirical comedy
for a production of the play in Greek at Cambridge University in 1909. Since then the justly famous
and a 1912 Suite (admittedly containing almost all of the best music) is all that has been heard of the score, which for the most part is folksy and light-hearted and includes witty quotations from other composers’ works. But the choral writing itself is splendid, and the most ambitious part of the score is the
(a diatribe on human behaviour, drawing a parallel with the conduct of wasps, sung directly by the chorus to the audience). In effect this is an ambitious choral scena, which almost immediately quotes from Debussy’s
i, and draws from the composer some of his most atmospheric and forward looking music.
The original play had three characters, but David Pountney’s translation reduces the text to a narration from just one, Procleon, a ‘curmudgeonly old codger, an old soldier and a bigot’, a part which Henry Goodman takes with relish. A full text is included, but if you don’t want to repeat the dialogue it is all cued separately; you can programme your player accordingly and just enjoy the superb singing and playing of the Halle Chorus and Orchestra, vividly directed by Mark Elder, and excellently recorded. A major scoop for the Orchestra’s own record label.’
Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music
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