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


Release Date: 04/24/2007 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 60676   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: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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SuperAudio CD:  $17.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

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
Read more effective. Personally, I prefer the more passionate views of Barbirolli and (above all) Silvestri, both on 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. Not only is the singing of the choir just perfect, but the balances in SACD surround format are phenomenally clear and natural. In the Symphony and Tallis Fantasia there's a bit more rear-channel emphasis than I prefer, but this is still an impressive production of some thrillingly gorgeous music.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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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) 

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