Discussion:
Vaughan Williams: Your opinions of his symphonies?
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MIFrost
2018-11-02 15:31:32 UTC
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I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?

MIFrost
Frank Berger
2018-11-02 17:37:54 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
I recall telling myself that the music of someone who wrote Serenade to
Music was worth discovering, even if it took some effort. Personally, I
found the effort to be rewarding.
jrsnfld
2018-11-02 17:52:16 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
One sign of a great composer is the distinctive voice. I know Sibelius when I hear him. I know Mahler, Beethoven, Ravel, and others this way. There are days when I must listen to Bruckner, because that is the voice I hear in my mind, the one I crave at the moment. Same with Mozart or Tchaikovsky. These composer voices are not specific mood, but voices that span a wide range of emotions.

Vaughan Williams is in that class. Once you get to know, say, the 5th symphony, or the 6th, it is a voice that stays with you, that has a place in your own aural vocabulary. I'd say that's a first order achievement, one that eluded many symphonists who wrote perfectly wonderful music, like Foerster and Fibich, Atterberg and Koppel, Draeseke and Reinecke, Kalliwoda and Michael Haydn.

Composer of first rank. We might argue about whether Vaughan Williams was a better at opera or choral composition than with symphonies. But I'd rather just acknowledge that most everything he penned has eloquence because it has his voice. It doesn't take long to hear it.

--Jeff
Frank Berger
2018-11-02 18:12:47 UTC
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Post by jrsnfld
Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
One sign of a great composer is the distinctive voice. I know Sibelius when I hear him. I know Mahler, Beethoven, Ravel, and others this way. There are days when I must listen to Bruckner, because that is the voice I hear in my mind, the one I crave at the moment. Same with Mozart or Tchaikovsky. These composer voices are not specific mood, but voices that span a wide range of emotions.
Vaughan Williams is in that class. Once you get to know, say, the 5th symphony, or the 6th, it is a voice that stays with you, that has a place in your own aural vocabulary. I'd say that's a first order achievement, one that eluded many symphonists who wrote perfectly wonderful music, like Foerster and Fibich, Atterberg and Koppel, Draeseke and Reinecke, Kalliwoda and Michael Haydn.
Composer of first rank. We might argue about whether Vaughan Williams was a better at opera or choral composition than with symphonies. But I'd rather just acknowledge that most everything he penned has eloquence because it has his voice. It doesn't take long to hear it.
--Jeff
Beautifully said, Jeff.
jrsnfld
2018-11-02 19:36:25 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
Beautifully said, Jeff.
Thank you...must be inspired by the Elgar I was listening to.

--Jeff
MIFrost
2018-11-02 18:27:52 UTC
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Post by jrsnfld
Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
One sign of a great composer is the distinctive voice. I know Sibelius when I hear him. I know Mahler, Beethoven, Ravel, and others this way. There are days when I must listen to Bruckner, because that is the voice I hear in my mind, the one I crave at the moment. Same with Mozart or Tchaikovsky. These composer voices are not specific mood, but voices that span a wide range of emotions.
Vaughan Williams is in that class. Once you get to know, say, the 5th symphony, or the 6th, it is a voice that stays with you, that has a place in your own aural vocabulary. I'd say that's a first order achievement, one that eluded many symphonists who wrote perfectly wonderful music, like Foerster and Fibich, Atterberg and Koppel, Draeseke and Reinecke, Kalliwoda and Michael Haydn.
Composer of first rank. We might argue about whether Vaughan Williams was a better at opera or choral composition than with symphonies. But I'd rather just acknowledge that most everything he penned has eloquence because it has his voice. It doesn't take long to hear it.
--Jeff
Well, I ordered a set. I was considering Previn and Slatkin and went with Slatkin.

MIFrost
Frank Berger
2018-11-02 19:31:27 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
Post by jrsnfld
Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
One sign of a great composer is the distinctive voice. I know Sibelius when I hear him. I know Mahler, Beethoven, Ravel, and others this way. There are days when I must listen to Bruckner, because that is the voice I hear in my mind, the one I crave at the moment. Same with Mozart or Tchaikovsky. These composer voices are not specific mood, but voices that span a wide range of emotions.
Vaughan Williams is in that class. Once you get to know, say, the 5th symphony, or the 6th, it is a voice that stays with you, that has a place in your own aural vocabulary. I'd say that's a first order achievement, one that eluded many symphonists who wrote perfectly wonderful music, like Foerster and Fibich, Atterberg and Koppel, Draeseke and Reinecke, Kalliwoda and Michael Haydn.
Composer of first rank. We might argue about whether Vaughan Williams was a better at opera or choral composition than with symphonies. But I'd rather just acknowledge that most everything he penned has eloquence because it has his voice. It doesn't take long to hear it.
--Jeff
Well, I ordered a set. I was considering Previn and Slatkin and went with Slatkin.
MIFrost
I don't know Slatkin's VW. If I was buying one set it would be Boult's
2nd, probably. Previn would be a good choice. I'm wondering when and if
Andrew Manze will complete the cycle (missing 1, 7 and 9).
Randy Lane
2018-11-02 20:13:22 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
Post by MIFrost
Post by jrsnfld
Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
One sign of a great composer is the distinctive voice. I know Sibelius when I hear him. I know Mahler, Beethoven, Ravel, and others this way. There are days when I must listen to Bruckner, because that is the voice I hear in my mind, the one I crave at the moment. Same with Mozart or Tchaikovsky. These composer voices are not specific mood, but voices that span a wide range of emotions.
Vaughan Williams is in that class. Once you get to know, say, the 5th symphony, or the 6th, it is a voice that stays with you, that has a place in your own aural vocabulary. I'd say that's a first order achievement, one that eluded many symphonists who wrote perfectly wonderful music, like Foerster and Fibich, Atterberg and Koppel, Draeseke and Reinecke, Kalliwoda and Michael Haydn.
Composer of first rank. We might argue about whether Vaughan Williams was a better at opera or choral composition than with symphonies. But I'd rather just acknowledge that most everything he penned has eloquence because it has his voice. It doesn't take long to hear it.
--Jeff
Well, I ordered a set. I was considering Previn and Slatkin and went with Slatkin.
MIFrost
I don't know Slatkin's VW. If I was buying one set it would be Boult's
2nd, probably. Previn would be a good choice. I'm wondering when and if
Andrew Manze will complete the cycle (missing 1, 7 and 9).
Andrew Manze Sea Symphony (No. 1) is forthcomeing this month

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8496697--vaughan-williams-a-sea-symphony-the-lark-ascending
Oscar
2018-11-02 20:21:50 UTC
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Another excellent post, Jeff. Thank you, I have two CDs of Andrew Manze’s ongoing VW Symphonies cycle with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on Onyx. I like both very much, but not sure if duplication is necessary if one already has Handley or Hickok, or especially, Boult.
jrsnfld
2018-11-02 19:39:22 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
Post by jrsnfld
Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
One sign of a great composer is the distinctive voice. I know Sibelius when I hear him. I know Mahler, Beethoven, Ravel, and others this way. There are days when I must listen to Bruckner, because that is the voice I hear in my mind, the one I crave at the moment. Same with Mozart or Tchaikovsky. These composer voices are not specific mood, but voices that span a wide range of emotions.
Vaughan Williams is in that class. Once you get to know, say, the 5th symphony, or the 6th, it is a voice that stays with you, that has a place in your own aural vocabulary. I'd say that's a first order achievement, one that eluded many symphonists who wrote perfectly wonderful music, like Foerster and Fibich, Atterberg and Koppel, Draeseke and Reinecke, Kalliwoda and Michael Haydn.
Composer of first rank. We might argue about whether Vaughan Williams was a better at opera or choral composition than with symphonies. But I'd rather just acknowledge that most everything he penned has eloquence because it has his voice. It doesn't take long to hear it.
--Jeff
Well, I ordered a set. I was considering Previn and Slatkin and went with Slatkin.
MIFrost
Can't lose with that choice (I've heard about 2/3s of both cycles).

--Jeff
g***@gmail.com
2018-11-02 18:45:07 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
One sign of a great composer is the distinctive voice...
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/02/arts/music/anthony-tommasini-classical-music.html
MIFrost
2018-11-02 20:08:38 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
One sign of a great composer is the distinctive voice...
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/02/arts/music/anthony-tommasini-classical-music.html
Thank you. I look forward to reading this.

MIFrost
Jerry
2018-11-02 20:29:48 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
It appears more economical these days to buy complete cycles rather than the individual discs and many good collections are available, not the least of which is the stereo Boult set from EMI/Warner.

I will confess to finding several of these symphonies richly rewarding (1,2,3,5,6,7) while still struggling to grasp 4, 8, and 9. My one recommendation (reflecting my own experience) is to pick a Symphony No. 7 without the distracting spoken interludes.

Jerry
r***@gmail.com
2018-11-02 21:25:50 UTC
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One thing one can say about the RVW symphonies is that in mood and content they are quite varied, whilst each display the handiwork of the same composer.

I still think Previn (RCA) is a great set of recordings, fresh and vital, and for a more purely symphonic treatment, Haitink is not to be dismissed. Both are non-Brits and maybe this says something. Haitink has better, more analytical audio quality.

Nos.3,4,5 or 7 are my highlights. The gongs and spiels of No.8 is quite unique.

Ray Hall, Taree
MIFrost
2018-11-03 00:37:55 UTC
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Post by r***@gmail.com
One thing one can say about the RVW symphonies is that in mood and content they are quite varied, whilst each display the handiwork of the same composer.
I still think Previn (RCA) is a great set of recordings, fresh and vital, and for a more purely symphonic treatment, Haitink is not to be dismissed. Both are non-Brits and maybe this says something. Haitink has better, more analytical audio quality.
Nos.3,4,5 or 7 are my highlights. The gongs and spiels of No.8 is quite unique.
Ray Hall, Taree
What got me thinking about RVW is an article in the current issue of BBC Music Magazine. They recommend several recordings of the Pastoral (Previn, Bakels, Norrington and Elder) and one to avoid -- Boult's stereo recording. They write: "Adrian Boult was a great Vaughan Williams conductor, but his 1968 Pastoral with the New Philharmonia orchestra is not his finest moment. Phrasing is often curiously glib and flat, and at times the deeper emotions of the music seem glided over. Rhythms are also relatively listless, and ensemble can be sloppy. The stereo recording has a greater range than his 1953 mono recording with the London Philharmonic, but that earlier version has a fire and vibrancy that the re-make cannot equal."

MIFrost
graham
2018-11-03 00:51:48 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
Post by r***@gmail.com
One thing one can say about the RVW symphonies is that in mood and content they are quite varied, whilst each display the handiwork of the same composer.
I still think Previn (RCA) is a great set of recordings, fresh and vital, and for a more purely symphonic treatment, Haitink is not to be dismissed. Both are non-Brits and maybe this says something. Haitink has better, more analytical audio quality.
Nos.3,4,5 or 7 are my highlights. The gongs and spiels of No.8 is quite unique.
Ray Hall, Taree
What got me thinking about RVW is an article in the current issue of BBC Music Magazine. They recommend several recordings of the Pastoral (Previn, Bakels, Norrington and Elder) and one to avoid -- Boult's stereo recording. They write: "Adrian Boult was a great Vaughan Williams conductor, but his 1968 Pastoral with the New Philharmonia orchestra is not his finest moment. Phrasing is often curiously glib and flat, and at times the deeper emotions of the music seem glided over. Rhythms are also relatively listless, and ensemble can be sloppy. The stereo recording has a greater range than his 1953 mono recording with the London Philharmonic, but that earlier version has a fire and vibrancy that the re-make cannot equal."
MIFrost
Maybe that's the reason that I don't like #3.
Russ (not Martha)
2018-11-03 18:45:45 UTC
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Post by Jerry
I will confess to finding several of these symphonies richly rewarding (1,2,3,5,6,7) while still struggling to grasp 4, 8, and 9. My one recommendation (reflecting my own experience) is to pick a Symphony No. 7 without the distracting spoken interludes.
Are there any?

I haven't heard No. 7 in quite some time, and don't remember whether there are any instances of narration occurring during the music.

I have the EMI Haitink version. If the narration occurs only between musical episodes, I can just edit it out.

Russ (not Martha)
Ed Romans
2018-11-03 20:38:37 UTC
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Boult 1 and Previn have the narration with Gielgud and Ralph Richardson respectively. It prefaces each movement and is very brief, so I don't find it bothersome. Try Morning Heroes by Bliss for too much narration.

Ed
Russ (not Martha)
2018-11-03 23:25:44 UTC
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Post by Ed Romans
Boult 1 and Previn have the narration with Gielgud and Ralph Richardson respectively. It prefaces each movement and is very brief, so I don't find it bothersome. Try Morning Heroes by Bliss for too much narration.
I'll take your word for it regarding "Morning Heroes." You want your ear talked off? Try Oskar Fried's "The Emigrants." Ol' Russ (not Martha) is definitely not a fan of narration. I do tip my hat to VW for placing the narration in the "Antartica" between rather than during the movements.

There is some yakking in the Hindemith Horn Concerto which is omitted in the Dennis Brain recording but included in the Neunecker recording for cpo; here the narration occurs during the music, to its detriment IMO

Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" makes me gag.

But "Peter & the Wolf" is fine.
JohnA
2018-11-03 23:45:58 UTC
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Post by Russ (not Martha)
Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" makes me gag.
Here's Copland's recording with the narration removed:

Jerry
2018-11-04 13:56:02 UTC
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Post by Russ (not Martha)
Post by Jerry
I will confess to finding several of these symphonies richly rewarding (1,2,3,5,6,7) while still struggling to grasp 4, 8, and 9. My one recommendation (reflecting my own experience) is to pick a Symphony No. 7 without the distracting spoken interludes.
Are there any?
I haven't heard No. 7 in quite some time, and don't remember whether there are any instances of narration occurring during the music.
I have the EMI Haitink version. If the narration occurs only between musical episodes, I can just edit it out.
Russ (not Martha)
The liner notes for the Bakels/Bournemouth recording on Naxos
claim the text printed in the score was "not intended to be
recited during a performance of the work." In any event, the
first recording of the work (Barbirolli/Halle on HMV; EMI CD
5 66543 2) is narration-free and the Naxos recording (really
quite good) separately tracks the narration at the end of the disc
so they can be programmed in if desired.

Is anyone aware of any other citation to RVW's intent (pro or con)
regarding this point???

Agree that the Antartica (sic) has been underrated (even maligned
in some quarters) possibly because of its film-score roots.

In the end, it's fine that both options are available to satisfy
individual preferences.*

Jerry

* One recording (Leppard/Indianapolis on Koss) intersperses
narration within movements.
Kerrison
2018-11-04 14:37:59 UTC
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Post by Jerry
Post by Russ (not Martha)
Post by Jerry
I will confess to finding several of these symphonies richly rewarding (1,2,3,5,6,7) while still struggling to grasp 4, 8, and 9. My one recommendation (reflecting my own experience) is to pick a Symphony No. 7 without the distracting spoken interludes.
Are there any?
I haven't heard No. 7 in quite some time, and don't remember whether there are any instances of narration occurring during the music.
I have the EMI Haitink version. If the narration occurs only between musical episodes, I can just edit it out.
Russ (not Martha)
The liner notes for the Bakels/Bournemouth recording on Naxos
claim the text printed in the score was "not intended to be
recited during a performance of the work." In any event, the
first recording of the work (Barbirolli/Halle on HMV; EMI CD
5 66543 2) is narration-free and the Naxos recording (really
quite good) separately tracks the narration at the end of the disc
so they can be programmed in if desired.
Is anyone aware of any other citation to RVW's intent (pro or con)
regarding this point???
Agree that the Antartica (sic) has been underrated (even maligned
in some quarters) possibly because of its film-score roots.
In the end, it's fine that both options are available to satisfy
individual preferences.*
Jerry
* One recording (Leppard/Indianapolis on Koss) intersperses
narration within movements.
The original RCA (UK) LP of the Previn version featured "Superscriptions spoken by Sir Ralph Richardson" and mis-spelt the title on the sleeve as "Sinfonia Antarctica." Later they realized that the Italian is actually spelt "Antartica" (only one "c") and corrected it on a BMG/RCA CD reissue sub-titled 'Classical Navigator' No. 91, where it was coupled with Walton's Cello Concerto (Piatigorsky/Munch/BSO).

The precedent for the "narration" was set by Decca in their 1953 Boult/LPO recording with Sir John Gielgud intoning the text. Barbiroll's Halle HMV LP also of 1953 did not use a narrator and neither did Boult in his 1969 remake for EMI. The Leppard version referred to above is a disaster and should be reissued with all that irritating chit-chat interpersed during the music removed!
Kerrison
2018-11-04 15:04:17 UTC
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Post by Kerrison
The original RCA (UK) LP of the Previn version featured "Superscriptions spoken by Sir Ralph Richardson" and mis-spelt the title on the sleeve as "Sinfonia Antarctica." Later they realized that the Italian is actually spelt "Antartica" (only one "c") and corrected it on a BMG/RCA CD reissue sub-titled 'Classical Navigator' No. 91, where it was coupled with Walton's Cello Concerto (Piatigorsky/Munch/BSO).
The precedent for the "narration" was set by Decca in their 1953 Boult/LPO recording with Sir John Gielgud intoning the text. Barbiroll's Halle HMV LP also of 1953 did not use a narrator and neither did Boult in his 1969 remake for EMI. The Leppard version referred to above is a disaster and should be reissued with all that irritating chit-chat interpersed during the music removed!
PS: I forgot to add that the Richardson "superscriptions" were deleted from the Previn version when it was reissued on CD.
Jerry
2018-11-04 19:47:33 UTC
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Post by Kerrison
Post by Kerrison
The original RCA (UK) LP of the Previn version featured "Superscriptions spoken by Sir Ralph Richardson" and mis-spelt the title on the sleeve as "Sinfonia Antarctica." Later they realized that the Italian is actually spelt "Antartica" (only one "c") and corrected it on a BMG/RCA CD reissue sub-titled 'Classical Navigator' No. 91, where it was coupled with Walton's Cello Concerto (Piatigorsky/Munch/BSO).
The precedent for the "narration" was set by Decca in their 1953 Boult/LPO recording with Sir John Gielgud intoning the text. Barbiroll's Halle HMV LP also of 1953 did not use a narrator and neither did Boult in his 1969 remake for EMI. The Leppard version referred to above is a disaster and should be reissued with all that irritating chit-chat interpersed during the music removed!
PS: I forgot to add that the Richardson "superscriptions" were deleted from the Previn version when it was reissued on CD.
Off-Topic-------

But if you'd like to explore RVW's film score, I recommend the
newly recorded Hybrid SACD from Dutton Epoch (RSNO/Martin Yates -
CDLX 7340) of "Scott of the Antarctic that, at 80 minutes, contains
much music that was not incorporated into the finished film.

Jerry
Ed Romans
2018-11-04 20:19:22 UTC
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Post by Kerrison
PS: I forgot to add that the Richardson "superscriptions" were deleted from the Previn version when it was reissued on CD.
The version I have (an older Gold Seal CD from the late 80s with Symphony 8) has them included.

Ed
Kerrison
2018-11-04 21:37:16 UTC
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Post by Ed Romans
Post by Kerrison
PS: I forgot to add that the Richardson "superscriptions" were deleted from the Previn version when it was reissued on CD.
The version I have (an older Gold Seal CD from the late 80s with Symphony 8) has them included.
Ed
Mention of RVW's No.8 reminds me that two of the best performances are from
"live broadcasts" ... The splendid Charles Munch / Boston SO performance from 1958 is on Pristine Audio (PASC 368) and can also be heard on YouTube ...



Stokowski's refulgent performance from a 1964 London Proms concert with the BBC Symphony was issued on 'BBC Legends' and that's on YouTube too ...



As for the "Antartica" on YouTube, here's the New York premiere with the American Symphony Orchestra from Carnegie Hall in 1970. The conductor was Stokowski's assistant, Ainslee Cox, and he gave a first-rate performance of the work too ...



And here it is again from South America, another highly creditable reading surreptitiously filmed from the balcony and thus uncredited! It was played by the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, conductor Carlos Prazeres, in what was presumably its Argentinian premiere ...



Cox used an actual recording of wind in his performance but in Buenos Aires there was a big wind machine being rotated on the stage!
r***@gmail.com
2018-11-04 23:40:19 UTC
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Correct. Personally, I have never worried much about them and play them. Haitink dispenses with them altogether.

Ray Hall, Taree
Frank Berger
2018-11-04 21:59:48 UTC
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Post by Kerrison
Post by Kerrison
The original RCA (UK) LP of the Previn version featured "Superscriptions spoken by Sir Ralph Richardson" and mis-spelt the title on the sleeve as "Sinfonia Antarctica." Later they realized that the Italian is actually spelt "Antartica" (only one "c") and corrected it on a BMG/RCA CD reissue sub-titled 'Classical Navigator' No. 91, where it was coupled with Walton's Cello Concerto (Piatigorsky/Munch/BSO).
The precedent for the "narration" was set by Decca in their 1953 Boult/LPO recording with Sir John Gielgud intoning the text. Barbiroll's Halle HMV LP also of 1953 did not use a narrator and neither did Boult in his 1969 remake for EMI. The Leppard version referred to above is a disaster and should be reissued with all that irritating chit-chat interpersed during the music removed!
PS: I forgot to add that the Richardson "superscriptions" were deleted from the Previn version when it was reissued on CD.
Hmm. All the RCA versions I see seem to have the Richardson Narration,
including the Gold seal, the 1985 Classical Navigator and the box set.
Unless the Discogs information is wrong.
Frank Berger
2018-11-05 01:18:55 UTC
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!
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Kerrison
PS: I forgot to add that the Richardson "superscriptions" were deleted from the Previn version when it was reissued on CD.
Hmm. All the RCA versions I see seem to have the Richardson Narration,
including the Gold seal, the 1985 Classical Navigator and the box set.
Unless the Discogs information is wrong.
If you click this Amazon link and scroll down, you'll see the Walton/RVW 'Classical Navigator' performer details, as well as the correctly spelt title of "Antartica." Richardson's name is not mentioned, as he is not on this CD reissue. I should know, as I have it in my collection! ...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Walton-Concerto-Vaughan-Williams-Symphony/dp/B000025LGY
I believe you. Yet, here the Discogs entry for the same Classical
Navigator release and it does credit the Richardson narration.
Erroneously, I guess.

https://tinyurl.com/y9a57c5b
S***@aol.com
2018-11-02 22:21:52 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
I think the Sinofia Antartica is a highly under rated symphony.
Oscar
2018-11-02 22:32:45 UTC
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Early ‘90s Sinfonia Antarctica (No.7) by Leppard and Indianapolis SO on Koss Classics is excellent. Wordless contribution from Indianapolis Symphony Women's Choir, and narration by Roger Allam and soprano Dominique Labelle. Yes, what little I have heard of Haitink and Previn are very fine. But Boult is the conductor chosen by EMI for its c.2010 Elgar Complete box. I should investigate more RVW Symphonies recordings by those two.
S***@aol.com
2018-11-03 11:55:53 UTC
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Post by Oscar
Early ‘90s Sinfonia Antarctica (No.7) by Leppard and Indianapolis SO on Koss Classics is excellent. Wordless contribution from Indianapolis Symphony Women's Choir, and narration by Roger Allam and soprano Dominique Labelle. Yes, what little I have heard of Haitink and Previn are very fine. But Boult is the conductor chosen by EMI for its c.2010 Elgar Complete box. I should investigate more RVW Symphonies recordings by those two.
The Boult is my go to version.
Chango
2018-11-03 18:22:10 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
Chango
2018-11-03 18:26:13 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
I love the London Symphony, the first piece of RVW I fell for. My favorite is the Previn Telarc, which has a totally different attitude from the Previn RCA which strikes me has just good. For whatever reason, when I hear the Telarc, I feel modernity, see art deco. Hard to explain why.

Steve Koenig
dk
2018-11-04 00:07:05 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony.
I've listened to one or two others in the past but I
really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't
make much of an impression at the time. I'm
considering jumping back into the water and
wondering what others think of his output in
general. I know many think very poorly of his
works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a
composer of the first order?
Nope. Highly diluted gin and tonic.

dk
Andrew Clarke
2018-11-05 03:26:30 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony.
I've listened to one or two others in the past but I
really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't
make much of an impression at the time. I'm
considering jumping back into the water and
wondering what others think of his output in
general. I know many think very poorly of his
works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a
composer of the first order?
Nope. Highly diluted gin and tonic.
dk
Even the Sixth?

ac
c
Craigmaile McGregor
2018-11-05 15:45:52 UTC
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If the value of RV-W's symphonies can be equated to a watered down drink, then your dumbass, uninitiated opinion has but the worth a drop of rat piss in the Atlantic. Was your simile supposed to be pithy or... amusing? It came over, simply, as ignorant and deaf-eared; entitled to even that, as you certainly are.
Frank Berger
2018-11-05 16:12:46 UTC
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Post by Craigmaile McGregor
If the value of RV-W's symphonies can be equated to a watered down drink, then your dumbass, uninitiated opinion has but the worth a drop of rat piss in the Atlantic. Was your simile supposed to be pithy or... amusing? It came over, simply, as ignorant and deaf-eared; entitled to even that, as you certainly are.
Possibly the rudest, most uncalled for post in the history of RMCR. If
someone is really entitled to an opinion, you don't beat them with a two
by four.
Andrew Clarke
2018-11-09 13:45:46 UTC
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Post by Craigmaile McGregor
If the value of RV-W's symphonies can be equated to a watered down drink, then your dumbass, uninitiated opinion has but the worth a drop of rat piss in the Atlantic. Was your simile supposed to be pithy or... amusing? It came over, simply, as ignorant and deaf-eared; entitled to even that, as you certainly are.
There seems to be a widely held belief here that British music is insipid and trivial, 'weak tea' 'highly diluted g&t' 'fifth or sixth rate music, praised to the skies by British reviewers, no matter how trivial', etc., etc.

I suppose that if their experience is limited to RVW and Holst at their most maundering, elegiac or rhapsodical, they might have a point, but otherwise ...

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Kerrison
2018-11-09 15:49:55 UTC
Reply
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Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by Craigmaile McGregor
If the value of RV-W's symphonies can be equated to a watered down drink, then your dumbass, uninitiated opinion has but the worth a drop of rat piss in the Atlantic. Was your simile supposed to be pithy or... amusing? It came over, simply, as ignorant and deaf-eared; entitled to even that, as you certainly are.
There seems to be a widely held belief here that British music is insipid and trivial, 'weak tea' 'highly diluted g&t' 'fifth or sixth rate music, praised to the skies by British reviewers, no matter how trivial', etc., etc.
I suppose that if their experience is limited to RVW and Holst at their most maundering, elegiac or rhapsodical, they might have a point, but otherwise ...
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Anyone thinking that Vaughan Williams is "weak tea" or "highly diluted" or "maundering" should click this link straight away and hear Leonard Bernstein and the NYPO give a sensational, blazing account of the 4th Symphony ...



And it's a great pity that the San Francisco Symphony hasn't recorded No. 6. This live broadcast with Norrington on the rostrum puts the British orchestras in the shade with what must be one of the most tumultuous performances the work has ever received ... Nothing "insipid" about this! ...


Frank Berger
2018-11-09 16:47:12 UTC
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Post by Kerrison
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by Craigmaile McGregor
If the value of RV-W's symphonies can be equated to a watered down drink, then your dumbass, uninitiated opinion has but the worth a drop of rat piss in the Atlantic. Was your simile supposed to be pithy or... amusing? It came over, simply, as ignorant and deaf-eared; entitled to even that, as you certainly are.
There seems to be a widely held belief here that British music is insipid and trivial, 'weak tea' 'highly diluted g&t' 'fifth or sixth rate music, praised to the skies by British reviewers, no matter how trivial', etc., etc.
I suppose that if their experience is limited to RVW and Holst at their most maundering, elegiac or rhapsodical, they might have a point, but otherwise ...
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Anyone thinking that Vaughan Williams is "weak tea" or "highly diluted" or "maundering" should click this link straight away and hear Leonard Bernstein and the NYPO give a sensational, blazing account of the 4th Symphony ...
http://youtu.be/7YuUMoqJESU
And it's a great pity that the San Francisco Symphony hasn't recorded No. 6. This live broadcast with Norrington on the rostrum puts the British orchestras in the shade with what must be one of the most tumultuous performances the work has ever received ... Nothing "insipid" about this! ...
http://youtu.be/M11YIgtbTHM
Norrington recorded 4 & 6 with the LPO.
dk
2018-11-09 19:25:15 UTC
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Post by Kerrison
Anyone thinking that Vaughan Williams is "weak tea"
or "highly diluted" or "maundering" should click
this link straight away and hear Leonard Bernstein
and the NYPO give a sensational, blazing account of
the 4th Symphony ...
http://youtu.be/7YuUMoqJESU
We don't need anyone else's opinions in order to
form ours.

dk
Andrew Clarke
2018-11-10 05:41:54 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by Kerrison
Anyone thinking that Vaughan Williams is "weak tea"
or "highly diluted" or "maundering" should click
this link straight away and hear Leonard Bernstein
and the NYPO give a sensational, blazing account of
the 4th Symphony ...
http://youtu.be/7YuUMoqJESU
We don't need anyone else's opinions in order to
form ours.
dk
Bur it does help if you listen to them. Unless you're happy with your place on the spectrum.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Herman
2018-11-10 06:44:45 UTC
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Post by dk
We don't need anyone else's opinions in order to
form ours.
then why do what you do all the time? Tell people your opinions?
dk
2018-11-10 11:36:37 UTC
Reply
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Post by Herman
Post by dk
We don't need anyone else's opinions in
order to form ours.
then why do what you do all the time?
-- ski
-- music
-- coffee
-- ice cream
-- travel
-- sushi
-- code
Post by Herman
Tell people your opinions?
Why not? Yours aren't any better! ;-)

dk
Bob Harper
2018-11-10 16:23:43 UTC
Reply
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Post by dk
Post by Kerrison
Anyone thinking that Vaughan Williams is "weak tea"
or "highly diluted" or "maundering" should click
this link straight away and hear Leonard Bernstein
and the NYPO give a sensational, blazing account of
the 4th Symphony ...
http://youtu.be/7YuUMoqJESU
We don't need anyone else's opinions in order to
form ours.
dk
True. It makes it that much easier to make a fool of oneself.

Bob Harper
dk
2018-11-10 17:23:03 UTC
Reply
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by dk
Post by Kerrison
Anyone thinking that Vaughan Williams is "weak tea"
or "highly diluted" or "maundering" should click
this link straight away and hear Leonard Bernstein
and the NYPO give a sensational, blazing account of
the 4th Symphony ...
http://youtu.be/7YuUMoqJESU
We don't need anyone else's
opinions in order to form ours.
True. It makes it that much easier
to make a fool of oneself.
On the contrary, one is far
more likely to make a fool
of oneself by parroting
others' opinions!

dk
Andrew Clarke
2018-11-11 02:36:43 UTC
Reply
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by dk
Post by Kerrison
Anyone thinking that Vaughan Williams is "weak tea"
or "highly diluted" or "maundering" should click
this link straight away and hear Leonard Bernstein
and the NYPO give a sensational, blazing account of
the 4th Symphony ...
http://youtu.be/7YuUMoqJESU
We don't need anyone else's opinions in order to
form ours.
dk
True. It makes it that much easier to make a fool of oneself.
Bob Harper
I suspect Dan's tongue is fairly firmly in his cheek, hence the emoticons, but the assumptions behind the arguments being put forward here re British music are unfortunate. It's only too easy to remember the days when another ethnic group I can think of was similarly accused of using dishonest practices to promote their own people's interests at the expense of others, especially when it came to financial transactions. At one extreme, this could lead to exclusion from the local country club. At the other, it meant pogroms or worse.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Former president of The Australian John Dunstable Society, ACT Branch
dk
2018-11-11 03:22:45 UTC
Reply
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Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by Bob Harper
Post by dk
Post by Kerrison
Anyone thinking that Vaughan Williams is "weak tea"
or "highly diluted" or "maundering" should click
this link straight away and hear Leonard Bernstein
and the NYPO give a sensational, blazing account of
the 4th Symphony ...
http://youtu.be/7YuUMoqJESU
We don't need anyone else's opinions in order to
form ours.
True. It makes it that much easier to make a fool of oneself.
I suspect Dan's tongue is fairly firmly in his cheek,
hence the emoticons, but the assumptions behind the
arguments being put forward here re British music
are unfortunate.
I don't recall saying anything
negative about British music
as a category. All I said was
that VW does not resonate with
me -- just like Shosty.

dk
Oscar
2018-11-11 03:54:59 UTC
Reply
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Post by dk
I don't recall saying anything
negative about British music
as a category. All I said was
that VW does not resonate with
me -- just like Shosty.
Listen to Daniel Jones.
Andrew Clarke
2018-11-11 10:57:56 UTC
Reply
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Post by Oscar
Post by dk
I don't recall saying anything
negative about British music
as a category. All I said was
that VW does not resonate with
me -- just like Shosty.
Listen to Daniel Jones.
Another British composer I've heard of, but never heard.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Ricardo Jimenez
2018-11-11 14:40:18 UTC
Reply
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On Sun, 11 Nov 2018 02:57:56 -0800 (PST), Andrew Clarke
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by Oscar
Post by dk
I don't recall saying anything
negative about British music
as a category. All I said was
that VW does not resonate with
me -- just like Shosty.
Listen to Daniel Jones.
Another British composer I've heard of, but never heard.
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Spotify has some of his music. Bryden Thomson and the BBC Welsh
Orchestra play Symphonies 1 & 10 and 2 & 11. I'll give it a try.
There are also piano and vocal discs.
S***@aol.com
2018-11-11 09:13:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by dk
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by Bob Harper
Post by dk
Post by Kerrison
Anyone thinking that Vaughan Williams is "weak tea"
or "highly diluted" or "maundering" should click
this link straight away and hear Leonard Bernstein
and the NYPO give a sensational, blazing account of
the 4th Symphony ...
http://youtu.be/7YuUMoqJESU
We don't need anyone else's opinions in order to
form ours.
True. It makes it that much easier to make a fool of oneself.
I suspect Dan's tongue is fairly firmly in his cheek,
hence the emoticons, but the assumptions behind the
arguments being put forward here re British music
are unfortunate.
I don't recall saying anything
negative about British music
as a category.
Senility perhaps? "British music is the musical
equivalent of "military intelligence". ;-) "
Post by dk
All I said was
that VW does not resonate with
me -- just like Shosty.
Wasn't all you said but apparently your memory is failing so I guess we have to give you senior pass on it.
Oscar
2018-11-09 19:06:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clarke
There seems to be a widely held belief here that British music is insipid and trivial, 'weak tea'
'highly diluted g&t' 'fifth or sixth rate music, praised to the skies by British reviewers, no matter how
trivial', etc., etc.
I suppose that if their experience is limited to RVW and Holst at their most maundering, elegiac or
rhapsodical, they might have a point, but otherwise ...
Have you heard any of the symphonies by the Welshman, Daniel Jones (1912-1993)? You should. Jones believed that every note counted, citing Mozart, Mendelssohn, Weber and Bizet as models of clarity in their uncluttered orchestration. The music of Daniel Jones is not weak tea. It is a meticulously composed, with a sense of inevitability to its thematic revelations. Later symphonies have outer movements in sonata form. Lyrita has many of his symphonies for sale. The epigrammatic, logical Symphony No.10 (1981) in its troubled and sorrowing, unfolding anguish may be one of the finest symphonies of the past 40 years. The fatalistic ending is driven home in a way that is both matter-of-fact yet doleful, and very powerful.

On the issue of being a Welsh composer, Jones did not feel his music expressed overt nationalism: "...whereas in literary terms you can say that the writing of Dylan Thomas is distinctly
Welsh, that is not true of music. Even though I am something of a loner, there is no national idiosyncrasy."
dk
2018-11-09 19:22:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clarke
There seems to be a widely held belief here that
British music is insipid and trivial, 'weak tea'
'highly diluted g&t' 'fifth or sixth rate music,
Unless unrated.
Post by Andrew Clarke
praised to the skies by British reviewers,
no matter how trivial', etc., etc.
Yes.
Post by Andrew Clarke
I suppose that if their experience is limited
to RVW and Holst at their most maundering,
elegiac or rhapsodical, they might have a
point, but otherwise ...
The point stands. British music is the musical
equivalent of "military intelligence". ;-)

dk
j***@gmail.com
2018-11-04 07:12:26 UTC
Reply
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On Friday, November 2, 2018 at 11:31:35 AM UTC-4, MIFrost wrote:
What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
Post by MIFrost
MIFrost
Yes. I have listened to Previn and both Boults. I also (much to my surprise) liked Norrington's live cycle minus the 7th with the DSOB.
steve
2018-11-05 16:46:29 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have, and like very much, his #2, A London Symphony. I've listened to one or two others in the past but I really can't recall them so I suspect they didn't make much of an impression at the time. I'm considering jumping back into the water and wondering what others think of his output in general. I know many think very poorly of his works. Others love him. What say you? Is he a composer of the first order?
MIFrost
I have the Slatkin set - it was cheap. I find his tempos a bit fast. This may work for #4 & 6 but not, I think, for the other symphonies. I much prefer Boult or Previn.

Steve
Oscar
2018-11-08 08:36:56 UTC
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Listening now to Previn’s early 1970s recording of A Pastoral Symphony. Where has this been my whole life?
MIFrost
2018-11-11 12:39:30 UTC
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I have the Slatkin set. When I imported it into itunes it automatically enters the performers and other info. For the 1st symphony it came up as Adrian Boult, not Leonard Slatkin. The disc looks like all the others in the set. What gives, do you think? Am I hearing Boult or Slatkin. It’s a wonderful performance regardless.
MIFrost
Jerry
2018-11-11 16:09:59 UTC
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Post by MIFrost
I have the Slatkin set. When I imported it into itunes it automatically enters the performers and other info. For the 1st symphony it came up as Adrian Boult, not Leonard Slatkin. The disc looks like all the others in the set. What gives, do you think? Am I hearing Boult or Slatkin. It’s a wonderful performance regardless.
MIFrost
Though both are divided into 15 tracks, the timings of several individual
tracks are different enough that it may tell you which it is.

Boult Track 1 = 3:11
Slatkin Track 1 = 3:25

Boult Track 9 = 4:27
Slatkin Track 9 = 5:05

Boult Track 11 = 5:06
Slatkin Track 11 = 5:42

These timings are for Boult II (EMI 764016 - British Composers Series)
and Slatkin RCA 61197.

Hope this helps.

Jerry

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