Discussion:
Vaughan Williams recommendations, please
(too old to reply)
Brent Huiberts
2005-05-24 06:01:29 UTC
Permalink
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?

Brent
s***@sgfnorth.co.uk
2005-05-24 09:49:03 UTC
Permalink
In No 5 - Previn and Handley - both mid price are the ones I enjoy
hearing most.

Most if not all the best RVW is available at mid price or lower so its
possible to build quite a collection!

Previn & Handley are pretty good in the rest of the symphonies too. If
you like No 5 you'll probably like No 3 and No 9.

But all the rest are very different - Nos 4 & 6 are not for the
faint-hearted. For the set, I'd go for Handley as a safe pair of hands
but do hear Stoko in No 8 & 9.

If recorded sound is a priority for you I think the Haitink cycle is
well recorded and available at budget price as a box - but he is not as
insightful as Previn or Haintink. Thomson is interesting at times, but
sometimes the LSO are not engaged. I haven't heard the Slatkin box set
but his live performances I've heard have always tried hard but seldom
delivered for me.

Barbirolli was a close friend of RVW but I mostly find his recordings
unsatisfactory except for a sizzling 7th. Boult recorded most
symphonies twice - I'd pick and chose these. There are some very fine
interpretations - his earliest recordings of No 1 and No 6 are superb
but of course the sound is dated.

I'm seldom moved by the recordings Andrew Davies made on Teldec, but
these too are becoming available at mid price.

Don't overlook Bakels on Naxos - well enough recorded and a cheap way
to get to know the music. I haven't heard Daniel's completion of that
Naxos cycle yet. The Judd disc of orchestral works is to be avoided.

Also try other orchestral works such as the Job, Tallis Fantasia, Dives
& Lazarus, the Wasps, Norfolk Rhapsody and Lark Ascending. Again
Handley (not the Rhapsody) also Boult in these. Karajan in theTallis
Fantasia is a marvel but its in mono.

RVW was prolific in most genres so there's plenty to enjoy - try the
Hyperion series of recordings of choral works conducted by Matthew
Best, the chamber works on Naxos. There are operas - if you like that
sort of thing.

Other here will disagree I suspect but I'd say when in doubt go for
Handley.

S
Raymond Hall
2005-05-24 12:04:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@sgfnorth.co.uk
In No 5 - Previn and Handley - both mid price are the ones I enjoy
hearing most.
Most if not all the best RVW is available at mid price or lower so its
possible to build quite a collection!
Previn & Handley are pretty good in the rest of the symphonies too. If
you like No 5 you'll probably like No 3 and No 9.
Handley on EMI is a very good guide (if talking cycles), but don't forget
the early Previn RCA set with the LSO fully engaged. Thomson, as far as I am
aware, dealt with the LPO.

Previn is viscerally more momentous than Handley, and seems to have an extra
edge, even if the EMI is more naturally recorded, with the RCA recordings
displaying some tendency towards 'glassiness" wrt the strings. Mention
should also be made of Barbirolli's 8th, which jangles like no other.

Daniel's 4th has some received some pretty ecstatic reviews, but have yet to
hear it. As for the Tallis Fantasia, (perhaps a piece that might be many
people's desert island material), I have also to correct matters by getting
to listen to HvK's mono version with the Philharmonia. By all accounts, from
here, and elsewhere, it is supposed to be magnificent. Shame it is in mono,
in a piece that cries out for being in stereo. But I still want to get hold
of it. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough.

Symphony No.9, like Nielsen's last symphony, is by far the most enigmatic
and problematic for the listener.

Ray H
Taree
graham
2005-05-24 13:38:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
Daniel's 4th has some received some pretty ecstatic reviews, but have yet
to hear it.
It is very good.
Post by Raymond Hall
As for the Tallis Fantasia, (perhaps a piece that might be many people's
desert island material), I have also to correct matters by getting to
listen to HvK's mono version with the Philharmonia. By all accounts, from
here, and elsewhere, it is supposed to be magnificent. Shame it is in mono,
in a piece that cries out for being in stereo. But I still want to get hold
of it. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough.
Don't you like the Barbirolli version?

Graham
Raymond Hall
2005-05-24 13:45:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by graham
Post by Raymond Hall
Daniel's 4th has some received some pretty ecstatic reviews, but have yet
to hear it.
It is very good.
Post by Raymond Hall
As for the Tallis Fantasia, (perhaps a piece that might be many people's
desert island material), I have also to correct matters by getting to
listen to HvK's mono version with the Philharmonia. By all accounts, from
here, and elsewhere, it is supposed to be magnificent. Shame it is in
mono, in a piece that cries out for being in stereo. But I still want to
get hold of it. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough.
Don't you like the Barbirolli version?
Oh yes, of course. It is a quite excellent account. But HvK's is supposed to
quite something as well, and interesting if only to compare, perhaps,
earlier Karajan with later Karajan..

Ray H
Taree
MW
2005-05-26 17:00:41 UTC
Permalink
The Karajan FoaTbTT may be of special interest to Karajan fans, but I
don't think it stands out as anything special now. I think it is great
that K stuck his neck out and recorded some English music (though he
wasn't so daring as to try any Elgar, the coward), and one can
certainly count on the Philharmonia of the time to sound good, but I
don't hear an interpretation of genius. Personally, I'd be satisfied
with all Boult's recordings, and Barbirolli's best one, if that isn't
too much to ask.
s***@sgfnorth.co.uk
2005-05-26 20:57:52 UTC
Permalink
IIRC Karajan was asked why he didn't conduct any Elgar, his response
was reported as "why should I conduct third rate Brahms when I can
conduct first rate Brahms". Though personally I don't rate Elgar as
highly as this quote asserts, it may have been interesting to hear what
he would have made of the Second Symphony which he studied but didn't
record towards the end of his life.

S
Donald Patterson
2005-05-27 19:46:41 UTC
Permalink
On 5/26/05 4:57 PM, in article
Post by s***@sgfnorth.co.uk
IIRC Karajan was asked why he didn't conduct any Elgar, his response
was reported as "why should I conduct third rate Brahms when I can
conduct first rate Brahms". Though personally I don't rate Elgar as
highly as this quote asserts, it may have been interesting to hear what
he would have made of the Second Symphony which he studied but didn't
record towards the end of his life.
S
Herbie wasn't making a statement of judgment regarding the Elgar. He was
commenting on his own lack of affinity with the music. HIS Elgar would be
third rate.
--
Don Patterson
Trombonist
Arranger/Copyist
"The President's Own"
United States Marine Band
a***@aol.com
2005-05-27 20:12:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
Post by graham
Post by Raymond Hall
Daniel's 4th has some received some pretty ecstatic reviews, but have yet
to hear it.
It is very good.
Post by Raymond Hall
As for the Tallis Fantasia, (perhaps a piece that might be many people's
desert island material), I have also to correct matters by getting to
listen to HvK's mono version with the Philharmonia. By all accounts, from
here, and elsewhere, it is supposed to be magnificent. Shame it is in
mono, in a piece that cries out for being in stereo. But I still want to
get hold of it. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough.
Don't you like the Barbirolli version?
Oh yes, of course. It is a quite excellent account. But HvK's is supposed to
quite something as well, and interesting if only to compare, perhaps,
earlier Karajan with later Karajan..
Ray H
Taree
I have posted about it before but a very special (to me) performance of
the Tallis is by Steinberg and the Pittsburgh Symphony, firstly because
it was the first LP I bought as a student but, more importantly, for
the Tallis performance which is much, much darker than what I would say
is the traditional (Boult/Barbirolli etc) approach.

Steinberg finds real angst in this piece and has marvellous playing
from the orchestra. The Enigma, with which it is coupled, was and is
not up to quite the same standard (the recordings dynamics are poor,
for starters). I tracked this down on CD after months and months of
waiting via Amazon and the Tallis is still as good as I thought it was
nearly 35+ years ago.

If you see it going cheap somewhere, honestly it's worth a listen.

I don't know the Karajan performance of Tallis but his opening of Mars
(Vienna Philharmonic) in the Planets for, I think, Decca is the
scariest I have ever heard but I put that down to two sets of
Hochrainer timpani in unison. Very deep down dark indeed.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
Donald Patterson
2005-05-28 00:52:01 UTC
Permalink
On 5/27/05 4:12 PM, in article
Post by a***@aol.com
Post by Raymond Hall
Post by graham
Post by Raymond Hall
Daniel's 4th has some received some pretty ecstatic reviews, but have yet
to hear it.
It is very good.
Post by Raymond Hall
As for the Tallis Fantasia, (perhaps a piece that might be many people's
desert island material), I have also to correct matters by getting to
listen to HvK's mono version with the Philharmonia. By all accounts, from
here, and elsewhere, it is supposed to be magnificent. Shame it is in
mono, in a piece that cries out for being in stereo. But I still want to
get hold of it. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough.
Don't you like the Barbirolli version?
Oh yes, of course. It is a quite excellent account. But HvK's is supposed to
quite something as well, and interesting if only to compare, perhaps,
earlier Karajan with later Karajan..
Ray H
Taree
I have posted about it before but a very special (to me) performance of
the Tallis is by Steinberg and the Pittsburgh Symphony, firstly because
it was the first LP I bought as a student but, more importantly, for
the Tallis performance which is much, much darker than what I would say
is the traditional (Boult/Barbirolli etc) approach.
Steinberg finds real angst in this piece and has marvellous playing
from the orchestra. The Enigma, with which it is coupled, was and is
not up to quite the same standard (the recordings dynamics are poor,
for starters). I tracked this down on CD after months and months of
waiting via Amazon and the Tallis is still as good as I thought it was
nearly 35+ years ago.
If you see it going cheap somewhere, honestly it's worth a listen.
Available with the Enigma and some Ravel on a Disky twofer. Alan is quite
right about the Tallis and Enigma. The La Valse on disc two is
excruciatingly bad...quite possibly the worst I've ever heard. He had
absolutely no affinity for this music.
--
Don Patterson
Trombonist
Arranger/Copyist
"The President's Own"
United States Marine Band
Thomas Muething
2005-05-24 14:10:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by graham
It is very good.
I beg to differ. It has none of the anguish that Berglund and RVW
himself conveyed.
Post by graham
Post by Raymond Hall
As for the Tallis Fantasia, (perhaps a piece that might be many people's
desert island material), I have also to correct matters by getting to
listen to HvK's mono version with the Philharmonia. By all accounts, from
here, and elsewhere, it is supposed to be magnificent.
Was this ever on CD?

Thomas
graham
2005-05-24 14:12:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by graham
It is very good.
I beg to differ. It has none of the anguish that Berglund and RVW himself
conveyed.
What would this group be like if we all agreed with one another?<g>
Graham
Alex
2005-05-24 15:10:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thomas Muething
Post by Raymond Hall
As for the Tallis Fantasia, (perhaps a piece that might be many people's
desert island material), I have also to correct matters by getting to
listen to HvK's mono version with the Philharmonia. By all accounts, from
here, and elsewhere, it is supposed to be magnificent.
Was this ever on CD?
Yes, at least once in a 4CD HvK/Philharmonia set (there were a few). IIRC
that set had his mono Bartok and Bridge in it. Others contained Debussy and
Sibelius etc.
Vaneyes
2005-05-25 01:18:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex
Post by Thomas Muething
Post by Raymond Hall
As for the Tallis Fantasia, (perhaps a piece that might be many people's
desert island material), I have also to correct matters by getting to
listen to HvK's mono version with the Philharmonia. By all accounts,
from
Post by Thomas Muething
Post by Raymond Hall
here, and elsewhere, it is supposed to be magnificent.
Was this ever on CD?
Yes, at least once in a 4CD HvK/Philharmonia set (there were a few). IIRC
that set had his mono Bartok and Bridge in it. Others contained Debussy and
Sibelius etc.
Reissued in 1998, EMI Karajan Edition. Good ART remastering.

For those interested, someone at Amazon is selling one for $32 and
change.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000006316/bridgebooks/103-1496785-4513467

Regards
Vincent Ventrone
2005-05-24 18:42:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@sgfnorth.co.uk
Barbirolli was a close friend of RVW but I mostly find his recordings
unsatisfactory except for a sizzling 7th.
That really surprises me -- I can't imagine a better performance than his
recording of #5 on EMI (was coupled with Bax's Tintagel some years ago.) I
find it extraordinarily atmospheric. Much better, IMHO, than the Boult
which I gave away & the Previn which I also have -- though the Handley is
also very good.
Thomas Muething
2005-05-24 09:53:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
I'd recommend the Previn 5th (Telarc, with the RPO) and Handley/Royal
Liverpool PO (EMI Eminence).

Steer clear of Slatkin, Hickox and Andrew Davis in this symphony.

Thomas
JL
2005-05-24 18:39:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thomas Muething
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
I'd recommend the Previn 5th (Telarc, with the RPO) and Handley/Royal
Liverpool PO (EMI Eminence).
Steer clear of Slatkin, Hickox and Andrew Davis in this symphony.
Thomas
Agreed Handley is fantastic in 5 but Hickox is superb as well IMHO - one of
the best of his cycle so far along with the London syymphony. I thought that
3rd and 4th for Hickox were a bit weaker.

All the recommendations for Handley as a cycle are spot on. The Haitink is
also very, very good and I find it hard to choose between them. Certainly
Davis is not the best (though his 6 is very good) and I must hear Previn in
these works.

Both the Handley and Haitink box sets are very cheap this side of the pond
though not sure if that is the case where you are.

Cheers, JL
Russ and/or Martha Oppenheim
2005-05-25 03:12:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thomas Muething
I'd recommend the Previn 5th (Telarc, with the RPO) and Handley/Royal
Liverpool PO (EMI Eminence).
Steer clear of Slatkin, Hickox and Andrew Davis in this symphony.
Thomas
What's so bad about the Slatkin?

- Russ (not Martha)
Lani Spahr
2005-05-25 20:19:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Russ and/or Martha Oppenheim
Post by Thomas Muething
I'd recommend the Previn 5th (Telarc, with the RPO) and Handley/Royal
Liverpool PO (EMI Eminence).
Steer clear of Slatkin, Hickox and Andrew Davis in this symphony.
Thomas
What's so bad about the Slatkin?
Nothing at all! And there's nothing bad about Andrew Davis or Hickox,
either. I've got them and like them all for various reasons. I think it's
part of a knee-jerk reaction to anything by A Davis or Slatkin. I call it
"listening with your eyes". I think we'd all embarrass ourselves with blind
listening tests.

Lani
a***@aol.com
2005-05-25 20:46:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lani Spahr
Nothing at all! And there's nothing bad about Andrew Davis or Hickox,
either. I've got them and like them all for various reasons. I think it's
part of a knee-jerk reaction to anything by A Davis or Slatkin. I call it
"listening with your eyes". I think we'd all embarrass ourselves with blind
listening tests.
Lani
Personally, although we will all have our personal preferences, I think
RVW can take almost anyone. In my contribution to the thread I
neglected some of the Naxos recordings conducted by Mr Bakels which
also bring a different dimension, a different view of the great
symphonies of RVW, and merely listed the first who came to mind.

It is a matter of regret to me that the association between Mr Bakels
and Naxos did not last long enough for him to record Symphony No 1 for
I would have very much liked to have heard what he might have done with
this work.

A person who "should" have recorded all nine was Rozhdestvensky which
would no doubt have brought another "view" and probably Bernstein for
that matter, fabulous playing in No 4, and maybe yet another "view".

Let us look on the bright side in this: all those nominated for their
different qualities and abilities seem a long way from Mr Lambert's
view that at least some of the symphonies represented "a cow looking
over a gate". The fact that so many people have attempted to interpret
them is, I think, proof that he did not get that exactly right.

I forgive Mr Lambert for such an effective "sound bite". For a time
and, exactly like a cowpat, it stuck but I think we are away from that
now.

I am fond of Mr Lambert's music as well.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
Vaneyes
2005-05-25 21:40:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@aol.com
Personally, although we will all have our personal preferences, I think
RVW can take almost anyone.
Would that hafta include Hickox?

Regards
Nils-Eivind Naas
2005-05-28 21:52:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@aol.com
Let us look on the bright side in this: all those nominated for
their different qualities and abilities seem a long way from Mr
Lambert's view that at least some of the symphonies represented
"a cow looking over a gate". The fact that so many people have
attempted to interpret them is, I think, proof that he did not
get that exactly right.
This quote is often attributed to Philip Heseltine?
--
nen
a***@aol.com
2005-05-28 22:34:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nils-Eivind Naas
Post by a***@aol.com
Let us look on the bright side in this: all those nominated for
their different qualities and abilities seem a long way from Mr
Lambert's view that at least some of the symphonies represented
"a cow looking over a gate". The fact that so many people have
attempted to interpret them is, I think, proof that he did not
get that exactly right.
This quote is often attributed to Philip Heseltine?
--
nen
I thought it was Lambert but you may be right. Those two were part of
the same (interesting) "school", the new modern generation, but sadly
and very tragically both went the same way, both a massive loss to
music. Another great musician of the time, who also went the same way,
was Noel Mewton-Wood, another great loss.

Heseltine & Co also completely b******d Ernest Moeran and left him with
a permanent problem. He was found floating in the water in Kenmare:
heart attack and fell in? Deliberate? Or what? Pissed and fell in?
Pushed? (The last was briefly considered at the time). Moeran could
not swim.

Jury still out on how he met his death, I think. No doubt about poor
Peter Warlock (aka Heseltine). I think you could half guess that from
The Curlew, the most depressive piece of music I have ever heard.

But the dear chap put the cat out first before he turned the gas
on....but whichever of them said it of Vaughan Williams was, I think,
wrong.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
Paul Ilechko
2005-05-29 01:36:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@aol.com
Post by Nils-Eivind Naas
Post by a***@aol.com
Let us look on the bright side in this: all those nominated for
their different qualities and abilities seem a long way from Mr
Lambert's view that at least some of the symphonies represented
"a cow looking over a gate". The fact that so many people have
attempted to interpret them is, I think, proof that he did not
get that exactly right.
This quote is often attributed to Philip Heseltine?
--
nen
I thought it was Lambert but you may be right. Those two were part of
the same (interesting) "school", the new modern generation, but sadly
and very tragically both went the same way, both a massive loss to
music.
And both Lambert and Heseltine appear loosely disguised (as Moreland and
Maclintick, respectively) in Anthony Powell's opus "A Dance to the Music
of Time".
Thomas Muething
2005-05-29 15:05:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@aol.com
But the dear chap put the cat out first before he turned the gas
on....but whichever of them said it of Vaughan Williams was, I think,
wrong.
It was Warlock/Heseltine. Funny enough, the quote is part of a review
that, on the whole, was favorable towards the symphony.

Beecham, after conducting a rehearsal of the "Pastoral", is quoted to
have said: "A city life for me". This from the man who conducted
third-rate French music (and Delius) all his life...

Thomas
Thomas Muething
2005-05-26 07:07:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lani Spahr
Nothing at all! And there's nothing bad about Andrew Davis or Hickox,
either. I've got them and like them all for various reasons. I think it's
part of a knee-jerk reaction to anything by A Davis or Slatkin.
Bullshit. I think YOU should try listening with your eyes shut.

Thomas
Alex
2005-05-24 11:28:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
Handley on EMI for the 5th, I agree!

For others, don't miss Barbirolli's 1957 Pye/EMI 2nd (London) with the Halle
(not the Philharmonia remake). Hickox's Chandos version of the unpublished
longer version is very good as well.

Berglund's EMI 4th and 6th on EMI are excellent (the 6th is also one of
Haitink's best RVW recordings as well, with the 7th).
Donald Patterson
2005-05-24 12:37:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
Brent
A Sea Symphony (#1) / Boult conducting (EMI or Decca mono)
Symphonies 2 & 8 / Barbirolli conducting (Dutton)
Symphony 3 / Boult conducting (EMI)
Symphony 4 / Previn conducting (RCA/BMG)
Symphony 6 / Boult conducting (EMI)

Oh what the hell, you might just get the complete box with Boult conducting.
His earlier set is in a Decca slim line box with the 9th "borrowed" from an
Everest recording (this set was made before VW composed the 9th). Most of
it is mono sound, but it's sounds good. Boult's second set is available in
an EMI slim line box. The sound is excellent stereo and the performances
are a bit more understated. This is my favorite overall set for the the
interpretations and the sound of the orchestra.
--
Don Patterson
Trombonist
Arranger/Copyist
"The President's Own"
United States Marine Band
k***@yahoo.co.uk
2005-05-24 14:10:30 UTC
Permalink
If you don't mind some historic / or non-British / or out-of-the-way
recordings, try these ...

Sea Symphony (No. 1) ... Kazuyoshi Akiyama and the Osaka Philharmonic
Orchestra and Chorus (rec. 1973 and sung in English on Nippon Columbia
LP OP 7103).
London (No. 2) (1920 Edition of the score with extra music) ... Sir
Eugene Goossens and the Cincinnati Orchestra (rec. 1941 Biddulph WHL
016)
Pastoral (No. 3) ... Some say that the very first recording of all is
still the best ... Boult and the LPO (see above postings).
No. 4 ... Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic (Sony SMK 58933);
Bernstein also with the NYPO (Sony SMK 47638); Stokowski and the NBC
Symphony (rec. 1943 Cala CACD0528)
No. 5 ... Gennady Rozhdestvensky and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC
Radio Classics BBCRD 9125) ... Superb! ... (A plea please for the
Koussevitzky / Boston SO 1947 performance to be issued on CD from the
BSO archives: also superb.)
No. 6 ... Abravanel and the Utah Symphony (Vanguard Classics SVC-7);
Stokowski and the NYPO (World Premiere Recording 1949 Cala CACD 0537)
No. 7 ... Previn and the LSO (minus the original narration, in a very
good transfer) (RCA Classical Navigator No. 91); Ainslee Cox and the
American Symphony (NY Premiere 1970) Private CD from Theo van der Burg
(www.med.hro.nl/burtw/)
No. 8 ... Stokowski and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC Legends BBCL
4165-2)
No. 9 ... Pedro de Freitas Branco in a CD Set ... the Portuguese
Premiere in 1958 (sorry: don't have the set number to hand!); Stokowski
with the US Premiere also in 1958 (Cala CACD0539). Of the 'conventional
recordings' Handley and Haitink are both highly thought of in VW9.
KS
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-05-24 14:33:45 UTC
Permalink
No. 5 ... (A plea please for the Koussevitzky / Boston SO 1947
performance to be issued on CD from the BSO archives: also superb.)
I agree; particularly for the radiant playing of the strings.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Donald Patterson
2005-05-24 16:22:19 UTC
Permalink
On 5/24/05 10:10 AM, in article
Post by k***@yahoo.co.uk
No. 8 ... Stokowski and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC Legends BBCL
4165-2)
I will never understand why this is so lauded. I find the scherzo to be so
fast as to border on the asinine...very little detail makes to the finish
intact. With so many fine recordings of this work, this one is an also-ran.

Go with Boult (either one), Barbirolli (the dedicatee!), Handley, Haitink
(yes, Haitink), or Previn (plays up the "jazzy" syncopations in the first
movement).

Of all of these, Barbirolli reigns supreme (the Pye recording with the Halle
Orchestra). It should be available on the Dutton label coupled with his
best account of the "London" Symphony.
--
Don Patterson
Trombonist
Arranger/Copyist
"The President's Own"
United States Marine Band
k***@yahoo.co.uk
2005-05-25 07:38:32 UTC
Permalink
Stokowski's "also-ran" VW8 on a BBC Legends CD has so far been received
with unanimous praise. Firstly, from Michael Kennedy, Vaughan
Williams's biographer: "The BBC Symphony Orchestra evidently enjoyed
Stokowski's handling of this deceptively lightweight symphony. For all
its high spirits, there is a darker and melancholy side to it that
Stokowski appreciated, and it emerges as a big work. His exuberant
treatment of the finale has been matched only by the symphony's
dedicatee and first interpreter, Barbirolli." (The Sunday Telegraph).
... Other opinions: "Hearing it again has merely reinforced my
admiration for a performance of such abundant temperament" (Andrew
Achenbach, The Gramophone). "Stokowski finds a power and bite in the
writing that recall the dramatic thrust of the chilling Sixth Symphony.
The BBC Symphony players are magnetized." (Edward Greenfield, The
Guardian). "An essential performance for Stokowski and RVW buffs alike.
Stokowski takes the faster movements slower and the Scherzo faster than
most of the competition, to my mind adding to the music's stature, with
glowing expressive strings and a coruscating Scherzo." (Lewis Foreman,
Classic Record Collector). "This irresistible, hedonistic, youthful
symphony, brightly coloured with unusually dominant treble percussion,
is thrust forward with typical spontaneous Stokowskian raw energy.
There is zest, rhythmic bite, baleful humour and thundering yeoman
defiance. This is balanced by fond nostalgic backward glances in the
opening movement and sparkling jubilation in the finale. A zestful
reading makes this a compelling disc that will appeal to all Stokowski
fans and admirers of the composer." (Ian Lace, Classical Music Web) ...
Not at all bad for an "also ran" ...
KS
s***@sgfnorth.co.uk
2005-05-26 10:52:51 UTC
Permalink
I'd love to know what you think marks the Barbirolli version out.

S
Vaneyes
2005-05-24 13:47:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
Sym 2 (Handley), Syms 3 & 4 (Previn, RCA), Sym 5 Handley, Sym 6, cw
"Lark" & "Tallis" (Davis), Syms 7 & 8 (Handley), Sym 9 (Davis,
LPO/Boult), Job (Davis), Works for String Orchestra (Boughton, Nimbus).

Regards
j***@aol.com
2005-05-24 15:21:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
Brent
I don't know if you like opera at all, but if you do, or are curious,
eventually give Vaughan Williams a try in that genre as well. His
genius for melody and texture is even more remarkable when the human
voice is involved, in my opinion. Or maybe I was just startled, after
umpteen recordings of his symphonies (which are all great), to find
that I liked "Pilgrim's Progress" and "Hugh the Drover" as much or
more, but practically no one seems to talk about them.


As for the symphonies, my tastes must be very ill-defined. I enjoy
recordings conducted by Sargeant, Barbirolli, Boult, Mitropoulos,
Stokowski, and Previn, but practically nothing seems to beat cranking
up the sound and wallowing in the lushly but vividly recorded
performances of Andrew Davis on Teldec and Leonard Slatkin on RCA. This
music cries out for it, every once in a while at least.

--Jeff
Donald Patterson
2005-05-24 16:24:39 UTC
Permalink
On 5/24/05 11:21 AM, in article
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and
loved
Post by Brent Huiberts
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
Brent
I don't know if you like opera at all, but if you do, or are curious,
eventually give Vaughan Williams a try in that genre as well. His
genius for melody and texture is even more remarkable when the human
voice is involved, in my opinion. Or maybe I was just startled, after
umpteen recordings of his symphonies (which are all great), to find
that I liked "Pilgrim's Progress" and "Hugh the Drover" as much or
more, but practically no one seems to talk about them.
Good call, my young Padawan. But you omitted his take on the Merry Wives
tale, "Sir John in Love". Not a great sense of the stage, but there is some
wonderful music there.
--
Don Patterson
Trombonist
Arranger/Copyist
"The President's Own"
United States Marine Band
j***@aol.com
2005-05-24 16:30:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Donald Patterson
On 5/24/05 11:21 AM, in article
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and
loved
Post by Brent Huiberts
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
Brent
I don't know if you like opera at all, but if you do, or are
curious,
Post by Donald Patterson
Post by j***@aol.com
eventually give Vaughan Williams a try in that genre as well. His
genius for melody and texture is even more remarkable when the human
voice is involved, in my opinion. Or maybe I was just startled, after
umpteen recordings of his symphonies (which are all great), to find
that I liked "Pilgrim's Progress" and "Hugh the Drover" as much or
more, but practically no one seems to talk about them.
Good call, my young Padawan. But you omitted his take on the Merry Wives
tale, "Sir John in Love". Not a great sense of the stage, but there is some
wonderful music there.
Aye, I just don't know it as well yet. I also liked "The Poisoned
Kiss".

--Jeff
a***@aol.com
2005-05-24 18:55:36 UTC
Permalink
I am rather fond of Hugh the Drover, it's got a couple of good moments
and although a gentle rural ramble (so is Bartered Bride, for that
matter) is certainly worth an occasional outing I would say.

Of course there is also RVW's dark side in this genre: Riders to the
Sea which in the context of Hugh is a bit like the difference between
the opening of the 4th Symphony and the opening of the 5th!

Someone mentioned Rozhdestevnsky 5 - he did a lot of RVW while at the
BBC Symphony Orchestra and proved outstanding in all of it. Somewhere
there is a beautiful No 3.

If the original poster likes the idiom of Sym 5 there are some
wonderful things to explore: the string quartets, On Wenlock Edge (Ian
Partridge is your man here, I think), Five Mystical Songs (one of the
most beautiful things he wrote, in my view), the Mass for unaccompanied
choir, Five Tudor Portraits, Lark Ascending....we could all go on I am
sure.

On conductors, I am not qualified to say although because of my
personal connection with him I am very fond of Boult's recordings
simply as a memory of him. I agree that Barbirolli gets the swagger of
8 better than Boult but in 3 and 5 I think Sir Adrian takes some
beating. The way he lets the first movement of the Pastoral unfold,
Molto moderato, is pure magic. I can see him now: the gentle sweep of
that huge baton, eyes riveted on various people, something the public
never saw. He conducted as much with his eyes as that enormous stick.
Finally, at important crescendos - from the hip, no mistaking for
anyone what he wanted.

And do you notice that in that first movement there is a phrase
identical to The New Ghost? (one of the Shove settings). I was
actually present for one of the rehearsals of No 3 at Kingsway Hall:
the first movement is, I think, a straighthrough take. One of the
engineers, Christopher Parker, said: "I don't think we are going to get
it any better than that, Sir Adrian."

Another good exponent of Vaughan Williams was Norman del Mar.

On the 4th symphony, of the few recordings I have I enjoy the composers
own (pretty brutal), Sir Adrian and also Leonard Bernstein who I think
"gets it in one". One of my great loves is the cinderella Symphony 9.
I know what the criticisms of it are: that it's just a rehash of all
that went before, an old man looking back.

Old men are entitled to look back, I do it all the time, but I think it
a wonderful summation of his art and a deeply moving work exactly for
that reason.

I came to the music of RVW in a very strange way. As an impecunious
student I found a secondhand book about him. It was written by Simona
Pakenham who had fallen in love with his music and wrote about the
effect of it and she inspired me to explore it as well.

RVW's biographer, and often the writer of extensive sleeve notes on his
recordings, is Michael Kennedy. In Simona's book she tells the story
of how he heard RVW music while serving in the Navy during World War II
and fell in love with it as well and wrote to the composer, beginning a
relationship that exists to this day through recordings.

Kind regards,
Symphony No 9
j***@aol.com
2005-05-24 15:34:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
Brent
I don't know if you like opera at all, but if you do, or are curious,
eventually give Vaughan Williams a try in that genre as well. His
genius for melody and texture is even more remarkable when the human
voice is involved, in my opinion. Or maybe I was just startled, after
umpteen recordings of his symphonies (which are all great), to find
that I liked "Pilgrim's Progress" and "Hugh the Drover" as much or
more, but practically no one seems to talk about them.


As for the symphonies, my tastes must be very ill-defined. I enjoy
recordings conducted by Sargeant, Barbirolli, Boult, Mitropoulos,
Stokowski, and Previn, but practically nothing seems to beat cranking
up the sound and wallowing in the lushly but vividly recorded
performances of Andrew Davis on Teldec and Leonard Slatkin on RCA. This
music cries out for it, every once in a while at least.

--Jeff
Thomas Muething
2005-05-24 16:05:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
other works:

S 1 ("Sea Symphony") - Boult mono (Belart/Decca)
S 2 ("London") - Thomson/Chandos, Handley/EMI, Arwel Hughes/ASV,
Barbirolli/Dutton
S 3 ("Pastoral") - Previn/RCA, Thomson/Chandos
S 4 - Berglund/EMI, Vaughan Williams/Dutton, Bernstein/CBS-Sony
S 5 - Previn/Telarc, Handley/EMI
S 6 - A.Davis/Teldec, Handley/EMI
S 7 - Barbirolli/EMI (mono), Boult/Belart (mono), Haitink/EMI)
S 8 - Barbirolli/Dutton (stereo), Bakels/Naxos
S 9 - Thomson/Chandos, Slatkin/RCA, Handley/EMI

Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis - Barbirolli/EMI, Previn/Telarc,
Groves/Regis
Flos Campi (Suite for Viola, Chorus and Orchestra) - Handley/EMI
Job: A Masque for Dancing - Boult/RCA, Handley/EMI, Lloyd-Jones/Naxos

Thomas
Sol L. Siegel
2005-05-25 02:16:03 UTC
Permalink
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved it!
Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
My $.02 worth:

Sea Symphony: Boult/EMI, Previn
London Symphony: Boult (Decca or EMI), Previn/RCA, Barbirolli 1957
(avoid the 1960's remake).
Pastoral Symphony: Boult/Decca, Previn
Sym. 4: Boult/Decca, Bernstein, Mitropoulos, Stokowski, VW's own
Sym. 5: Handley, Boult/Decca, Barbirolli/EMI
Sym. 6: Boult/Decca, Previn, Handley, Stokowski (not despite, but partly
because, of his double-speed tempo in the second movement - and this
was the premier recording!)
Sym. 7: Previn, Bakels.
Sym. 8: Barbirolli.
Sym. 9: Previn, Handley

Job: Handley
Tallis Fantasia: Barbirolli

And hardly least: the Boult/EMI disc of odds and ends, including Serenade
to Music, Lark Ascending, Norfolk Rhapsody and English Folk Song Suite.
Richard Schultz
2005-05-25 05:16:14 UTC
Permalink
This post might be inappropriate. Click to display it.
k***@yahoo.co.uk
2005-05-26 08:15:46 UTC
Permalink
This coming Saturday morning (28 May) at 9:30 am, the BBC Radio 3 "CD
Review" programme will be reviewing all the available recordings of
Vaughan Williams's 'Pastoral' Symphony. This can be listened to live
over the net or (as recorded) during the subseqent week on the BBC
Radio Player's "Listen Again" panel. For details go to:
www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/cdreview/
KS
Rob Barnett
2005-05-27 21:11:19 UTC
Permalink
If you are looking for a similar experience - similar to the Fifth then do
try the following:-

1. Symphony No. 3 Pastoral
2. Tuba Concerto - espec middle movement
3. Variants on Dives and Lazarus
4. Tallis Fantasia
5. Job (parts only)

Rob
--
Rob Barnett
Editor, Classical Music on the Web
www.musicweb.uk.net
Editor, British Music Society Newsletter
Post by Brent Huiberts
I heard Vaughan Williams' Symphony #5 last night on WCPE.org, and loved
it! Any recommendations for this, and his other orchestral works?
Brent
k***@yahoo.co.uk
2005-05-28 08:13:47 UTC
Permalink
BBC "CD Review" survey of the available recordings of Vaughan
Williams's "Pastoral" Symphony (No. 3) ... 1st Choice: Hickox / LSO
(Chandos CHAN 10001); Budget Choice: Handley / RLPO (CFP 5753102);
Historic Choice: Boult / LPO (Belart 461 118-2).
KS
Alan P Dawes
2005-05-28 12:59:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@yahoo.co.uk
BBC "CD Review" survey of the available recordings of Vaughan
Williams's "Pastoral" Symphony (No. 3) ... 1st Choice: Hickox / LSO
(Chandos CHAN 10001); Budget Choice: Handley / RLPO (CFP 5753102);
Historic Choice: Boult / LPO (Belart 461 118-2).
KS
and you can hear the 1st choice on BBC radio3 tomorrow from about 11.20 am
British Summer time at the end of the Cowan Collection.

Alan
--
--. --. --. --. : : --- --- ----------------------------
|_| |_| | _ | | | | |_ | ***@argonet.co.uk
| | |\ | | | | |\| | |
| | | \ |_| |_| | | |__ | Using an Acorn RiscPC
Thomas Muething
2005-05-29 15:09:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@yahoo.co.uk
BBC "CD Review" survey of the available recordings of Vaughan
Williams's "Pastoral" Symphony (No. 3) ... 1st Choice: Hickox / LSO
(Chandos CHAN 10001);
Idiotic. It is the very WORST, and, this time, Hurwitz actually got this
right:
http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5693

Thomas

Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...