"... the recordings are a mix of concert (the Fifth Symphony) and studio (the Eighth), thought the differences between the recording sound of each are minimal, and the Bridgewater hall audience is impeccably quiet. Elder’s account of the fifth has a wonderful easy breadth, a sense of inevitable unfolding that pays most dividends in the third-movement Romanza ... the Eighth Symphony has its moments of profundity, too, especially in the strings-only Cavatina. But it’s the shimmering tuned percussion the outer movements that defines the work, and Elder makes the integration of those textures seem the most natural thing in the world."
Andrew Clements - The Guardian
"Sir Mark Elder realizes the D Major and D Minor Symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams with refined grandeur—played for pomp, breadth, and glory. " ****
Gary Lemco - Audiophile Audition.com - 13 August 2013
"...I would recommend it unreservedly"
Rob Cowan - Gramophone magazine - May 2013
Recording of the Month
"Mark Elder’s is the most satisfying performance of RVW’s Symphony 5 that I’ve heard. Why? For me it’s because he gets the tempi just right. He isn’t afraid to be unhurried and yet at the same time a flowing, forward pulse is always apparent. You get a sense of smooth evolution and natural progression. This is balanced with clarity of structure. You also realize how much of an open air symphony this is. The Hallé’s playing and the recording are also very fine and therefore the whole atmosphere is bright, shining, luminous... The glory of this CD from Elder is that it offers a consistent and sustained appreciation of the reflective aspects of these RVW symphonies."
Michael Greenhalgh - MusicWeb-International.com - April 2013
Performance (No 5) ***** (No 8) **** Recording ****
"Mark Elder’s way with Vaughan Williams’s Fifth Symphony is one of those interpretations that grows with repeated hearings. As expected from the current Hallé vintage, it’s finely played in every department ... "
Malcolm Hayes - BBC Music magazine - May 2013
"...The whole performance is very satisfying ... this disc can be condidently recommednded."
William Hedley - International Record Review - April 2013
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