- Symphony No. 8 in D minor
- Symphony No. 5 in D major
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For this 2013 release, Mark Elder leads the Hallé Orchestra in a performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Symphony No. 5 in D," which was recorded live and in rehearsal in 2011, and offers a studio session of the "Symphony No. 8 in D minor," dating from 2012. With the magic of modern recording technology, it would take an expert to identify and isolate the multiple takes in the "Symphony No. 5," so smoothly are they edited as one seamless run-through. Considering the concert or rehearsal settings, this performance has good sound, though within certain limitations, for the presence of the audience and the acoustics of Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, have an effect on the clarity of the orchestra. There is a noticeable improvement of sound quality in the vibrant recording of the "Symphony No. 8," and the Hallé benefits from the close microphone placement and clean sound of the BBC studio. Yet beyond considerations of the reproduction, the playing in both works is solid, and Elder clearly communicates with the musicians to draw out the serene lyricism of the "Fifth" and the bright playfulness of the "Eighth," which is one of Vaughan Williams' most fanciful and entertaining compositions.