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Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 5, Dona Nobis Pacem

Release Date: 01/22/2008 
Label:  Somm   Catalog #: 71   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roy HendersonRenée Flynn
Conductor:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony OrchestraBBC Symphony ChorusLondon Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Buried treasure for all VW acolytes

Preserved on two specially commissioned long-playing acetates in the possession of Arthur Ridgewell (the executive producer of this invaluable Somm reissue), Vaughan Williams’s September 1952 Proms performance with the LPO of his great Fifth Symphony finally sees the light of day on CD. Famously undemonstrative on the podium, the 79-year-old composer knows exactly what he wants in a reading which combines noble breadth, songful rapture and glowing sincerity (particularly so in the last two movements, here full of deeply moving echoes of VW’s troubled Pastoral Symphony). Both Boult’s classic mono account (set down for Decca with this same orchestra 15 months later) and Barbirolli’s
Read more towering 1944 world premiere recording with the Hallé may convey marginally greater symphonic coherence — and aficionados should also seek out the highly charged and individual Boston SO / Koussevitzky interpretation from March 1947 (recently reissued on Guild, 11/07) — but no true VW connoisseur can afford to be without the composer’s own powerful, often inspirational thoughts.

Further incentive to purchase comes with the first authorised release from the BBC archives of the first broadcast performance (from November 1936) of the stirring cantata Dona nobis pacem, with the composer securely at the helm of BBC SO (then a world-class outfit under Boult’s stewardship) and Chorus. Soprano Renée Flynn and baritone Roy Henderson had taken part in Albert Coates’s Hallé world premiere just one month previously, and, as in the symphony, the finished article conveys a blistering conviction which effortlessly surmounts any inescapable sonic limitations. A reissue to relish.

-- Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone [4/2008]
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Works on This Recording

Dona nobis pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roy Henderson (Baritone), Renée Flynn (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; England 
Length: 34 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Symphony no 5 in D major by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938-1943; England 
Date of Recording: 09/03/1952 
Venue:  Live  Royal Albert Hall, London 
Length: 37 Minutes 27 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Dona nobis pacem: I. Agnus Dei

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