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NA 6835
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NA 6835
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (THE BEST OF)

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (THE BEST OF)

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2011


Artists:

English Northern Philharmonia


RTE Concert Orchestra


New Zealand Symphony Orchestra


Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra


Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra


Penny, Andrew


Lloyd-Jones, David


Judd, James


Bakels, Kees


Daniel, Paul


Andrew Penny

Conductor

James Judd

Conductor

Kees Bakels

Conductor

David Lloyd-Jones

Conductor

Graham Johnson

Soloist

Paul Daniel

Soloist

David Greed

Soloist

Roderick Williams

Soloist

Bournemouth Symphony Chorus



Venue:

Poole Arts Centre, UK


Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand



Record Label
Naxos

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos


Classical

Total Time - 79:11
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VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (THE BEST OF)

 

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Select Complete Single Disc for
     
1 

49th Parallel Suite

2:17
 Andrew Penny Conductor
 Penny, Andrew
     
2 

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

15:12
 James Judd Conductor
 Judd, James
     
3 

Linden Lea

2:40
 Roderick Williams Soloist
     
4 

Symphony No. 2, "A London Symphony"

8:09
 Kees Bakels Conductor
 Bakels, Kees
     
5 

The Wasps, Aristophanic Suite

9:33
 Kees Bakels Conductor
 Bakels, Kees
     
6 

The House of Life

4:41
 Graham Johnson Soloist
     
7 

5 Variants of Dives and Lazarus

6:10
 David Lloyd-Jones Conductor
 Lloyd-Jones, David
     
8 

Symphony No. 1, "A Sea Symphony"

10:29
 Paul Daniel Soloist
 Daniel, Paul
     
9 

Fantasia on Greensleeves (arr. R. Greaves)

4:37
 James Judd Conductor
 Judd, James
     
10 

The Lark Ascending

15:23
 David Greed Soloist
 Lloyd-Jones, David


One of the leading English composers of his generation, Vaughan Williams went some way towards creating a specifically English musical idiom, influenced by his interest in folk-song yet underpinned by a personal vision and language. This is nowhere better expressed than in his superb cycle of Nine Symphonies. The ‘London’ Symphony features a rich medley of thematic material that suggests the varied life of the capital city. The Lark Ascending, which concludes this disc, is one of Vaughan Williams’s most enduringly popular compositions.
 

"It commendably covers different aspects of the composer’s writing—vocal and orchestral, for cinema, on religious themes, symphonies, songs.  It includes what are probably his best-known works, but as a survey of his output it has some limitations—in particular by not representing sufficiently the remarkable work of his last decade. …Notwithstanding, some of these performances are of sufficient merit in themselves to justify the purchase of this budget disk.  In particular, I would commend Roderick Williams’ performance of "Linden Lea", which is a real delight—his voice being very well suited to the music.  The singing of "Silent Noon", by the tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson accompanied by Graham Johnson on piano, is also excellent. This is followed by another track which I particularly liked, an extract from "Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus", performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. The RLPO Orchestra have made a number of commendable recordings of the works of Vaughan Williams under the recently deceased and perhaps under-appreciated Vernon Handley, a great champion of English music of the first half of the 20th century. This work sets a folk-tune which is also the setting of a well-known hymn and then goes on to develop it through variations. Slightly oddly placed halfway through the disc is a very enjoyable performance of ’The Wasps’ overture by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Vaughan Williams wrote this to accompany a theatrical performance of the Aristophanes play in its original Greek at Cambridge.  Its opening is particularly excellent here, and in my opinion it would have made a better first track than the extract used in this position of the 49th Parallel Prelude, which is marred somewhat by its sound quality. The well-known ’Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis’…is given a very slow but thoughtful and pleasant performance by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra who later in the disk perform the also well-known and loved ’Fantasia on Greensleeves’, although this I found again pleasant but somewhat unexciting. Vaughan Williams’ symphonic output is acknowledged through the not entirely representative choice of extracts from his first and second symphonies, tracks eight and four of the disc respectively. The London Symphony (number two), arguably a good choice in being a characteristic and well evolved work relatively early in the composer’s working life, is represented by part of its first movement. The performance here, by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, is very slow and I have to say I do not like it as much overall as the Liverpudlian recording of this work under Vernon Handley. However as the track progress, the "jig" section evolves well and would show the listener new to Vaughan Williams some of his most typical end enjoyable music.  …’The Lark Ascending’, again a very well known and popular work, closes the disc."


Julie Williams - MusicWeb-International.com - October 2008
 




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