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Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies, Etc / Handley, Et Al


Release Date: 01/07/2003 
Label:  Classics For Pleasure   Catalog #: 75760   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Alison BarlowAlison HarganGraham JohnstonJoan Rodgers,   ... 
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic OrchestraRoyal Liverpool Philharmonic ChoirLondon Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 7 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 8 Hours 43 Mins. 

Imported from : UNITED KINGDOM   
This title is currently unavailable.



Notes and Editorial Reviews

Handley’s Vaughan Williams cycle vies with Slatkin’s on RCA for primacy in the modern RVW symphony sweepstakes, and comes in a close second. Of course, don’t tell the British that, but it’s relatively simple to describe just why Slatkin edges out the competition. First, he has the better orchestra, the Philharmonia, as compared to Handley’s Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Second, he is just the better conductor in most of those little, musical ways that come to matter more and more on repeated listening.

You can hear both of these qualities in a brief excerpt from the scherzo of A Pastoral Symphony. Compared to Slatkin, Handley’s trumpets and trombones are weak, and distantly miked to boot, while the horns and percussion
Read more overwhelm everybody else. It’s artificial, and more than a little unmusical. This doesn’t mean that Handley isn’t a fine Vaughan Williams conductor. As I said, these are small points that only begin to grate on repetition. His version of A London Symphony has more idiomatic swagger in its outer movements than Slatkin, although the latter’s excitement and bite in the Fourth and Sixth remain unequalled. Sonic oddities also lessen the impact of Handley’s distantly recorded, low-level Fifth Symphony.

On the other hand, the non-symphonic orchestral works are generally excellent. Job is superbly done, as is Flos Campi, while the choral version of the Serenade to Music is a welcome rarity. Vaughan Williams collectors will certainly want this set, notwithstanding small reservations, and heaven only knows how long it will survive in this Classics for Pleasure incarnation now that EMI has been sucked up by Warner. So get it while you can.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 3 "Pastoral" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Alison Barlow (Soprano)
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; England 
2.
Symphony no 4 in F minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931-1934; England 
3.
Symphony no 5 in D major by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938-1943; England 
4.
Symphony no 6 in E minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1947; England 
5.
Symphony no 7 "Sinfonia antartica" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Alison Hargan (Soprano)
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1952; England 
6.
Job by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1930; England 
7.
English Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; England 
8.
Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; England 
9.
Flos campi by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; England 
10.
Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910/1919; England 
11.
Variants (5) of 'Dives and Lazarus' by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; England 
12.
Serenade to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; England 
13.
Symphony no 1 "A sea symphony" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Graham Johnston (Baritone), Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1909; England 
14.
Symphony no 2 "London" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913/1920; England 
15.
Symphony no 8 in D minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; England 
16.
Symphony no 9 in E minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956-1957; England 
17.
Concerto for Oboe in A minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Jonathan Small (Oboe)
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; England 
18.
Partita for Double String Orchestra by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; England 

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