- The Lark Ascending, romance for violin & orchestra
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending; Suite of Six Short Pieces; The Solent; Fantasiaby Jennifer Pike
Ralph Vaughan Williams destroyed many of his early works, but he preserved the first two pieces on this Naxos release, "The Solent" (1902-1903) and the "Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra" (1902, rev. 1904). These have been recorded before, but apparently not together, and for the Vaughan Williams fan, they offer insight into the mind of the young composer. The two works adumbrate Vaughan Williams' maturity in different ways. The title of "The Solent" refers to a channel between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland. Thus the work is one of Vaughan Williams' highly characteristic sea pieces, and its quite attractive opening theme, stated by a solo clarinet, reappeared in the "Sea Symphony" in vocal garb. You'd instantly identify Vaughan Williams as the composer of "The Solent." That's perhaps less true of the sizable "Fantasia for piano and orchestra," with its emotionally neutral thematic material, but the 20-minute work shows the composer solving a variety of formal problems. The "Suite of Six Short Pieces for Piano" here are in their original form; they were later orchestrated under Vaughan Williams' supervision as "The Charterhouse Suite." The program closes with a straightforward but unremarkable reading of "The Lark Ascending," but the first three works, with clean performances by the Chamber Orchestra of New York and pianist Sina Kloke, are worthy candidates for a place on a Vaughan Williams shelf or hard drive.
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Performance CreditsJennifer Pike Primary Artist
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