The Essential Vaughan Williams

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
One listener's "Essential Vaughan Williams" is another listener's superfluous Vaughan Williams. There are 29 separate works on this two-disc EMI set, and while no one would argue with the inclusion of "The Lark Ascending," the "Fantasia on Greensleeves," and the "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis"; and few would argue with the inclusion of the "English Folk Song Suite," the "Wasps Overture," and the "Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus," there are listener who might wonder why so many tracks here are given over to Vaughan Williams' songs, hymns, anthems, and folk song settings. Those listeners are likely to come from the western side of the Atlantic, that is, from ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
One listener's "Essential Vaughan Williams" is another listener's superfluous Vaughan Williams. There are 29 separate works on this two-disc EMI set, and while no one would argue with the inclusion of "The Lark Ascending," the "Fantasia on Greensleeves," and the "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis"; and few would argue with the inclusion of the "English Folk Song Suite," the "Wasps Overture," and the "Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus," there are listener who might wonder why so many tracks here are given over to Vaughan Williams' songs, hymns, anthems, and folk song settings. Those listeners are likely to come from the western side of the Atlantic, that is, from listeners to whom "Bushes and Briars," "Loch Lomond," and "The Old Hundredth" are not as mother's milk. Those listeners are liable to regret the loss of what they regard as essential Vaughan Williams works, such as the Nocturne from the London Symphony or the Romanza from the "Fifth Symphony" or the Cavatina from the "Eighth Symphony." Listeners on the eastern side of the Atlantic, on the other hand, are likely to cheer the inclusion of so many works they have known since childhood in performances that capture all the heartfelt intensity of the music. Indeed, every work here is given a performance that is as good as definitive. Who could improve on John Barbirolli's searing "Tallis Fantasia," or David Willcocks' radiant "The blessed son of God," or Stephen Cleobury's imposing "Old Hundredth," or Adrian Boult's sensual "Serenade to Music," or Philip Ledger's "O little town of Bethlehem"? Recorded using both stereo and digital processes, EMI's sound here is consistently clear, warm, and deep.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/2008
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • EAN: 5099920799229
  • Catalog Number: 07992
  • Sales rank: 74,350

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Lark Ascending, romance for violin & orchestra - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Hugh Bean (14:45)
  2. 2 Linden Lea, song for voice & orchestra ("In Linden Lea;" "A Dorset Song") - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Janet Baker (2:51)
  3. 3 Fantasia on Greensleeves, for harp, flute & strings (arranged by R. Greaves; from the opera "Sir John In Love") - Ralph Vaughan Williams & John Barbirolli (4:43)
  4. 4 Silent Noon ("Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass"), song for voice & piano (The House of Life No. 2) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Ian Bostridge (4:16)
  5. 5–7 English Folk Song Suite, for orchestra (orchestrated by G. Jacob) - Gordon Jacob & Ralph Vaughan Williams (8:48)
  6. 6 The Vagabond ("Give to me the life I love"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra) (Songs of Travel No. 1) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Anthony Rolfe Johnson (3:09)
  7. 7 Serenade to Music ("How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!") for 16 soloists (or soloists & chorus) & orchestra - William Shakespeare & Ralph Vaughan Williams (13:17)
  8. 8 On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble, song for tenor, piano & string quartet (or tenor & orchestra) (On Wenlock Edge No. 1) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Hugh Bean (3:53)
  9. 9 Prelude on Welsh Hymn Tunes for organ No. 2 in G major ("Rhosymedre") - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Neville Marriner (4:01)
  10. 10 The Call ("Come, my way"), song for baritone, chorus (ad lib.) orchestra (or organ) (Mystical Songs No. 4) - David Willcocks & Ralph Vaughan Williams (2:09)
  11. 11 Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, for 2 string orchestras - Ralph Vaughan Williams & John Barbirolli (16:13)
Disc 2
  1. 1 The Wasps, Aristophanic Suite, for orchestra from the incidental music: Overture - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Adrian Boult (10:13)
  2. 2 Loch Lomond, folk song for baritone & male chorus - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Ian Partridge (3:41)
  3. 3 Ca' the Yowes, folk song for tenor & chorus - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Ian Partridge (5:12)
  4. 4 Variants (5) of 'Dives and Lazarus' for string orchestra & harp (or harps) - David Willcocks & Ralph Vaughan Williams (11:27)
  5. 5 O Taste and See, motet for chorus & organ (Psalm 34) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Winchester Cathedral Choir (1:44)
  6. 6 Job, A Masque for Dancing, ballet: Pavane of the Sons of the Morning - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Adrian Boult (2:15)
  7. 7 Bushes and briars, folk song for male chorus or chorus or voice & piano (Folksongs from the Eastern Counties No. 1) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & London Baccholian Singers (3:00)
  8. 8 Wassail Song ("Wassail, wassail, all over the town"), carol for chorus ("Gloucestershire Wassail") - Ralph Vaughan Williams & London Baccholian Singers (2:45)
  9. 9 For All the Saints Who from Their Labours Rest, hymn ("Sine nomine") - Ralph Vaughan Williams & York Minster Choir (5:10)
  10. 10 The truth sent from above, carol for chorus or voice & piano (Traditional English Carols No. 6) - David Willcocks & Ralph Vaughan Williams (2:09)
  11. 11 O Little Town of Bethlehem, carol (arr. from English traditional, "Forest Green") - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Francis Grier (3:31)
  12. 12 The Lamb ("Little Lamb who made thee"), song for voice & oboe (Blake Songs No. 5) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Janet Craxton (2:17)
  13. 13 Symphony No. 7 for soprano, small female chorus & orchestra with narrator ad lib ("Sinfonia Antartica"): 2. Scherzo: Moderato - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Adrian Boult (5:31)
  14. 14 Orpheus with his Lute, song for voice & piano - William Shakespeare & Ralph Vaughan Williams (3:16)
  15. 15 Mass for soloists & chorus in G minor: Kyrie - David Willcocks & Ralph Vaughan Williams (3:59)
  16. 16 The Blessed Son of God, for chorus (arranged from "Hodie," Christmas cantata) - David Willcocks & Ralph Vaughan Williams (2:37)
  17. 17 Come Down, O Love Divine, hymn ("Down Ampney") - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Choir of King's College, Cambridge (3:40)
  18. 18 The Old 100th Psalm ("All people that on earth do dwell"), for chorus, unison chorus, orchestra & organ - Louis Bourgeois & Ralph Vaughan Williams (4:54)
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