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From Vaughan Williams Attic / Boult, Irving, Wood, London Po, Et Al

Release Date: 03/10/2009 
Label:  Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog #: 9790   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Margaret Ritchie
Conductor:  Ralph Vaughan WilliamsSir Thomas BeechamSir Henry WoodSir Adrian Boult,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aeolian OrchestraBBC Symphony ChorusBBC Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Wasps: Overture. 1 Old King Cole. 2 A Flourish for the Coronation. 3 Serenade to Music. 4 Thanksgiving for Victory. 5 Scott of the Antarctic: Suite 6 Ralph Vaughan Williams, cond; Read more class="SUPER12">1,2 Thomas Beecham, cond; 3 Henry Wood, cond; 4 Adrian Boult, cond; 5 Ernest Irving, cond; 6 Margaret Ritchie (sop); 6 Isobel Baillie (sop); 4 Lilian Stiles-Allen (sop); 4 Elsie Suddaby (sop); 4,5 Eva Turner (sop); 4 Muriel Brunskill (alt); 4 Astra Desmond (alt); 4 Mary Jarred (alt); 4 Margaret Balfour (alt); Heddle Nash (ten); 4 Frank Titterton (ten); 4 Walter Widdop (ten); 4 Parry Jones (ten); 4 Harold Williams (bar); 4 Roy Henderson (bar); 4 Robert Easton (bs); 4 Norman Allin (bs); 4 Valentine Dyall (spkr); 5 Philharmonic Ch; 3 BBC Ch; 5 Aeolian O; 1,2 London PO; 3 BBC SO; 4,5 Philharmonia O 6 DUTTON 9790, mono (75:21) Live: London 4/1937 3

The latest Dutton/Vaughan Williams CD is a must for specialists, thanks to A Flourish for the Coronation . This is a transfer from acetates of a live Queen’s Hall performance, given a few weeks ahead of the crowning, in April 1937. Beecham, of all people, directs a vigorous account of the strong three-movement choral cantata, which includes unusual vocal effects in the Finale, and a setting of words by Chaucer, “O prince, desire to be honourable.” The style is RVW in public, but not in pompous mood. The same goes for Thanksgiving for Victory, which is more varied and far better known. This is the BBC studio recording, made long before the end of hostilities in WW II, which the piece commemorated in advance. It is very similar to, and not better than Boult’s later EMI/Parlophone studio recording, also available from Dutton, and others.

The tiny Scott of the Antarctic snippets were recorded in 1948 and released on an HMV 78. Good to hear the Philharmonia and Ritchie, urgently directed by Irving. The miniscule Suite enhances appreciation for the composer’s late imagination (fine wind machine) far less portentously than in the symphony this film score provoked. Shakespeare provoked a minor masterpiece from Vaughan Williams in the Serenade to Music , and this 1938 Henry Wood recording with 16 soloists has been reissued many times. It has not sounded better than it does here.

The composer’s 1925 acoustic recordings of Old King Cole and The Wasps sounded different in the old Pearl transfers. Here, they have had all noise removed via the CEDAR process, and the results are not as attractive. Performances are more forthright than we hear now, with some raw emotion (some lessons there), but there is not too much direct pleasure to be derived from the experience. All these transfers were made from originals in RVW’s own collection (or attic), and not everything was in great shape. Lewis Foreman’s notes suggest that far more discs exist in that collection, including one-off recordings of the composer’s music, but he says they are not suitable for commercial release. As with other recent releases, that information leaves this RVW enthusiast feeling slightly shortchanged. You should buy this CD anyway—it is cheap. But I hope someone somewhere is getting serious about the RVW sound archive, and never mind the commercial aspects. If money’s the problem, sponsors step forth, please, despite the recession.

FANFARE: Paul Ingram
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Works on This Recording

The wasps: Overture by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aeolian Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; England 
Old King Cole by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aeolian Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; England 
Flourish for a Coronation by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
Serenade to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Sir Henry Wood
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; England 
A Song of thanksgiving by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Margaret Ritchie (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Chorus,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; England 
Scott of the Antarctic by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Ernest Irving
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Interesting mix December 23, 2011 By Thomas Huber (Crystal Lake, IL) See All My Reviews "This collection of recordings from Vaughan Williams' own collection of 78 rpm records varies in quality from clean but limited range to some decent transfers of later recordings. I have long enjoyed this composer's music and this collection really didn't disappoint me. The oldest recordings (from the 1920s) suffer in fidelity and dynamics, but if felt like I had turned back time to listen to these. All were well performed." Report Abuse
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