Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony

Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony

by Richard HickoxRichard Hickox

CD

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Overview

Times are flush for musical anglophiles. 1998 saw the first CD release of Elgar's unfinished Third Symphony (in a brilliant "elaboration" by Anthony Payne). Now, we have the opportunity to hear the original 1913 version of Vaughan Williams's A London Symphony. V.W. tinkered with this score for two decades, producing three different revisions. In the process, he excised a huge amount of material -- some 20 minutes' worth -- and a great deal of beautiful music was lost. The final "revised edition" (1933) that is heard today is surely a more coherent work, but the symphony still holds together remarkably well in its original form. How lucky we are that Richard Hickox and others convinced Ursula Vaughan Williams (the composer's daughter) to let this important document be brought to life again. Under Hickox's direction, the London Symphony's performance is passionate, colorful, wonderfully detailed, and just plain gorgeous. A dewy, fresh rendition of George Butterworth's The Banks of Green Willow makes a delightful and generous aperitif -- and an apt one as well, considering that it was Butterworth who first urged V.W. to write an orchestral symphony. And, as usual, Chandos' recording has tremendous presence and atmosphere. Absolutely not to be missed!

Product Details

Release Date: 05/22/2001
Label: Chandos
UPC: 0095115990223
catalogNumber: 9902
Rank: 229309

Tracks

  1. The Banks of Green Willow, idyll for orchestra
  2. Symphony No. 2 in G major ("A London Symphony")

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