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Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 5, Etc / Spano, Et Al


Release Date: 04/24/2007 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 80676   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan WilliamsThomas Tallis
Performer:  David ArenzChristopher RexReid HarrisCecylia Arzewski,   ... 
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony OrchestraAtlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This beautifully played and engineered disc contains three of Vaughan Williams' most mellifluous pieces. Telarc already has an excellent coupling of the Tallis Fantasia and Fifth Symphony (under Previn), but the presence of the Serenade to Music (chamber choir version) as well as the original Tallis hymn on which the Fantasia is based makes this newcomer a very attractive proposition. Robert Spano's performance of this masterpiece for string orchestra(s) falls into the "grave and noble" category, akin to, say, Boult's. Tempos are steady, timbres are rich and full, and the legato phrasing of the work's big climax is remarkably effective. Personally, I prefer the more passionate views of Barbirolli and (above all) Silvestri, both on Read more EMI. The timings are almost identical, but the internal contrasts are greater. Still, of its type, it doesn't get much better than this.

The Fifth Symphony also is very satisfying. Spano seems to understand the need to project the music's spiritual tranquility without letting it become comatose (i.e., like Haitink). This means a nicely flowing Romanza and finale, and the playing of the orchestra is terrific by any standard. I only wish Spano had encouraged the strings to give a bit more "pop" to their pizzicatos in the scherzo's main theme. Otherwise, it's smooth sailing, nowhere more so than in the Serenade, the highlight of the disc both interpretively and sonically... [T]he singing of the choir [is] just perfect... [A]n impressive production of some thrillingly gorgeous music.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com [reviewing the SACD version]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 5 in D major by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938-1943; England 
Venue:  Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia 
Length: 39 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia (09/25/2006 - 10/03/2006) 
2.
Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  David Arenz (Violin), Christopher Rex (Cello), Reid Harris (Viola),
Cecylia Arzewski (Violin)
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910/1919; England 
Venue:  Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia 
Length: 16 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia (09/25/2006 - 10/03/2006) 
3.
Serenade to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Nimon Ford (Baritone), Thomas Studebaker (Tenor), Kelley O'Connor (Mezzo Soprano),
Jessica Rivera (Soprano)
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; England 
Venue:  Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia 
Length: 13 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia (09/25/2006 - 10/03/2006) 
4.
Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 3, Why fum'th in fight by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Venue:  Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia 
Length: 0 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia (09/25/2006 - 10/03/2006) 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 What a find August 19, 2014 By peter damato (lumberton, NJ) See All My Reviews "After listening to Vaughn Williams on my local radio station, WRTI in Philadelphia I was very moved when listening to the 2nd movement of the #5 Symphony. So I ordered this disc and I have been very moved by all the selections. The symphony is glorious and the Thomas Tallis pieces are a revelation. The sung word in English was so evocative that it touched something deep in my soul. Which is what great music is supposed to do. I will be ordering more Vaughn Williams in the future." Report Abuse
 Sensitive recording, informative booklet January 22, 2014 By L. Bryant (Hillsboro, OR) See All My Reviews "The Atlanta Symphony handles one of my personal top 5 pieces with sensitivity as well as passion in the Variations on a Theme. The recording is very clear. The other selections included were well considered, maintaining the atmosphere. I especially like that the original 16th century Tallis theme is included at the beginning as context. The booklet gives a mini biography of Vaughan Williams to provide context for all the works, which I really enjoyed, as well as details on each piece well beyond typical recording/copyright data. Also provided are bios of vocal soloists and a full orchestra/chorus roster." Report Abuse
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