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Albion's Journey: The Life & Work of Ralph Vaughan Williams


Release Date: 10/04/2019 
Label:  Albion   Catalog #: ALBCD039  
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan WilliamsDavid Vaughan Thomas
Performer:  Frank EricksonNicky SpenceWilliam VannJohnny Herford,   ... 
Conductor:  Paul DanielMartyn BrabbinsAlan TongueWilliam Vann,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chelsea Royal Hospital Chapel ChoirRoyal Liverpool Philharmonic OrchestraBBC Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This album largely comprises a selection of tracks from eleven of the recordings issued by Albion Records between 2013 and 2019, including two albums that were nominated for Grammy awards. However, there are seven tracks that are new. On six spoken-word tracks we hear the voices of Vaughan Williams himself, Herbert Howells, Michael Tippett and Roy Douglas. We learn something of the composer’s musical education, his views on folk song, his working methods, and the affection felt towards him by many of those who were close to him. Also, by popular demand, the album begins with the first recording of The Robin’s Nest, which is the first piece known to have been written by Vaughan Williams, in his sixth year. Albion Records specializes in Read more world-première recordings, mainly but not exclusively of works by Vaughan Williams, and many of these have been fairly early works. Despite that, this album features works written in the reign of every monarch from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II, covering an 80 year span from 1878 to 1958. Our previous compilation, issued in 2015, ALBCDSAMP Albion’s Vision (still available), set out Albion’s early successes. This new release combines music with the spoken word to trace elements of the composer’s lifelong journey. Just as Pilgrim (or Christian in Bunyan’s novel and the 1943 radio play) is travelling towards the Celestial City, Vaughan Williams, much influenced by Blake, was on his own journey, in search of a New Albion. It concludes with the composer talking about the Pilgrim’s battle with Apollyon, followed by our 1943 recording of Christian’s passage through the waters, to be serenaded with Alleluias by the Heavenly Hosts. The cover is based on an unpublished photograph taken by Ursula Vaughan Williams on their honeymoon in 1953, on the shores of Lake Garda. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Robin's Nest by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Frank Erickson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
2.
Summum bonum by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Nicky Spence (Tenor), William Vann (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
3.
Vocal Valses (3) from the Songs of the Wrens: No. 2, Winter by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  William Vann (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chelsea Royal Hospital Chapel Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
4.
Burley Heath by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Paul Daniel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
5.
The Last Invocation by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Johnny Herford (Baritone), Mary Bevan (Soprano), William Vann (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
6.
Nocturnes (3) for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra: No. 1, Smile O Voluptuous Cool-Breath'd Earth by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roderick Williams (Baritone)
Conductor:  Martyn Brabbins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
7.
Iphigenia in Tauris: O, Fair the Fruits of Leto Blow by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Heather Lowe (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Tongue
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Britten Sinfonia,  Joyful Company of Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
8.
Traditional English Carols (8): no 3, The Twelve Apostles by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Thomas Stoddart (Baritone), Hugh Rowlands (Organ)
Conductor:  William Vann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chelsea Royal Hospital Chapel Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; England 
9.
A Farmer's Son by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  William Vann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chelsea Royal Hospital Chapel Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; England 
10.
Dirge for Fidele by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Fionnuala Ward (Piano)
Conductor:  Andrew Nunn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Sirčnes
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; England 
11.
Wither's rocking Hymn by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Hugh Rowlands (Organ), Eloise Irving (Soprano), Edward Hughes (Tenor)
Conductor:  William Vann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chelsea Royal Hospital Chapel Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; England 
12.
The Running Set by David Vaughan Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Goldstone-Clemmow Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
13.
Suite for Viola and Chamber Orchestra: I. Prelude by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Martin Outram (Viola), Julian Rolton (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
14.
The Poisoned Kiss: Dear Love by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Nicky Spence (Tenor), William Vann (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
15.
The Poisoned Kiss: Love Breaks All the Rules by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  William Vann (Piano), Nicky Spence (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
16.
The Bridal Day: Andante sostenuto by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Philip Smith (Baritone)
Conductor:  Alan Tongue
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Britten Sinfonia,  Joyful Company of Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
17.
Last Songs (4): No. 1, Procris by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Jennifer Johnston (Alto)
Conductor:  Martyn Brabbins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
18.
The Pilgrim's progress: Christian and Hopeful meet the Heavenly Hosts by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Stanley Riley (Bass), Margaret Godley (Soprano), Margaret Rolfe (Contralto),
Bradbridge White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 

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