WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

The Film Music Of Ralph Vaughan Williams Vol 1 / Gamba


Release Date: 10/08/2002 
Label:  Chandos Movies Catalog #: 10007   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Merryn Gamba
Conductor:  Rumon Gamba
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sheffield Philharmonic ChorusBBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Of all the recent issues in Chandos' excellent series of film scores by British composers, this may well be the most interesting and important, not just because of the stature of Vaughan Williams himself, but also because of his work in recasting the score of Scott of the Antarctic as his Seventh Symphony. Now obviously you have to know the latter work well to get maximum enjoyment out of the former; not that film score isn't enjoyable on its own, but as in so many cases it consists of little bits, some less than a minute long, that often have no form, stop suddenly, and repeat themselves without any ostensible musical purpose. In other words, it's a typical film score. Also, in making the symphony, the composer shrewdly chose all of the Read more most evocative and atmospheric music and very cleverly expanded it, enriching the orchestration and most importantly enhancing its melodic interest. So the symphony actually gives a much more powerful sense of the moods and atmosphere of the film than does the film score itself. Still, here you will find music omitted in the symphony, such as scenes prior to Scott's arrival at the South Pole, or a brief portrait of his sculptress wife, though not surprisingly these contain the least interesting music.


Of the other two pieces here, the Coastal Command Suite is colorful WWII documentary material of minor interest in the context of Vaughan Williams' work, but The People's Land is quite a find, more than 13 minutes of continuous music based on several folksongs. It was composed in 1942 for a brief narrative "infomercial" describing the work of the British National Trust, and it's a fine example of the composer's breezy, "open air" manner that surely deserves some currency as a concert item.


Rumon Gamba leads aptly vigorous performances and the BBC Philharmonic plays with its customary professionalism. The wordless soprano solo in Scott of the Antarctic is taken by one Merryn Gamba, no doubt a relative of the conductor and an excellent argument against nepotism in musical projects. She sounds shrill and quite unpleasant, even from offstage! Big, rich, slightly soft-edged sonics round out a very worthwhile release that all Vaughan Williams fans will want to sample. [11/11/2002]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Scott of the Antarctic by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Merryn Gamba (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rumon Gamba
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus,  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948 
Date of Recording: 03/2002 
Venue:  New Broadcasting House, Manchester, UK 
Length: 41 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
The People's Land by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Rumon Gamba
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2002 
Venue:  New Broadcasting House, Manchester, UK 
Length: 13 Minutes 17 Secs. 
3.
Coastal Command by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Rumon Gamba
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
Date of Recording: 03/2002 
Venue:  New Broadcasting House, Manchester, UK 
Length: 23 Minutes 43 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Scott of the Antarctic Suite: I. Main Titles
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: II. Prologue (orch. by S. Hogger)
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: III. Doom
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: IV. Sculpture Scene
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: V. Ship's Departure
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: VI. Ice Floes
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: VII. Penguin Dance
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: VIII. Aurora
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: IX. Pony March
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: X. Blizzard
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: XI. Distant Glacier
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: XII. Climbing the Glacier
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: XIII. Scott on the Glacier
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: XIV. Snow Plain
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: XV. The Return
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: XVI. Descending the Glacier
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: XVII. The Deaths of Evans and Oates
Scott of the Antarctic Suite: XVIII. End Titles
Coastal Command Suite: I. Prelude
Coastal Command Suite: II. The Hebrides
Coastal Command Suite: III. U-boat Alert
Coastal Command Suite: IV. Taking-off at Night
Coastal Command Suite: V. The Hudsons take-off from Iceland
Coastal Command Suite: VI. Dawn Patrol [Quiet Determination]
Coastal Command Suite: VII. Battle of the Beauforts
Coastal Command Suite: VIII. Finale
The People's Land: The People's Land

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In