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Complete Collections - Vaughan Williams: The 9 Symphonies


Release Date: 03/09/2004 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 55708   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Heather HarperJohn Shirley-QuirkSir Ralph RichardsonJames Oliver Buswell,   ... 
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraLondon Symphony ChorusAmbrosian Singers
Number of Discs: 6 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 7 Hours 8 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

André Previn's Vaughan Williams symphony cycle arguably is the best such offering on the market today, particularly given the difficulty of finding the similarly fine Handley and Slatkin sets domestically (or at all!). In contrast to Boult's famous EMI set, where his all-knowing conducting (he was a lifelong friend of the composer) occasionally takes on a relaxed and autumnal air, Previn's consistently vibrant renditions reflect his fresh encounters with the music. Not to say that he's always faster--Boult is noticeably quicker in many instances--yet, especially in the case of Nos. 3 and 5, Previn sounds more energized and involved despite his slower tempos. Previn also has at his disposal the London Symphony, which provides Read more exceptionally robust playing throughout. Case in point: compare the LSO's playing in Previn's potent and dramatic No. 6 with Boult's generally listless London Philharmonic in the same work.


Previn's gripping Sinfonia Antartica and his profoundly atmospheric A London Symphony rank among the finest versions available. However, Previn must yield to Boult in A Sea Symphony, where Boult's grandiose vision and EMI's ravishing recording make a tremendous impression. RCA's sound, except for a really crummy No. 8 (did the master tape deteriorate?) is generally clear and well-balanced, with plenty of impact. Factor in the bonus works--the Violin concerto "Concerto accademico", the Tuba Concerto, and the "Three Portraits" from The England of Elizabeth--and you've got a handsome package of memorable, recommendable performances. The bargain price makes it all the more irresistible.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 1 "A sea symphony" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Heather Harper (Soprano), John Shirley-Quirk (Baritone)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1909; England 
Language: English 
2. Symphony no 2 "London" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913/1920; England 
3. Symphony no 3 "Pastoral" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Heather Harper (Soprano)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; England 
4. Symphony no 4 in F minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931-1934; England 
5. Symphony no 5 in D major by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938-1943; England 
6. Symphony no 6 in E minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1947; England 
7. Symphony no 7 "Sinfonia antartica" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Sir Ralph Richardson (Spoken Vocals), Heather Harper (Soprano)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1952; England 
8. Symphony no 8 in D minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; England 
9. Symphony no 9 in E minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956-1957; England 
10. Concerto for Violin in D minor "Concerto accademico" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  James Oliver Buswell (Violin)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924-1925; England 
11. Concerto for Tuba in F minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  John Fletcher (Tuba)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; England 
12. The wasps: Overture by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; England 
13. The England of Elizabeth by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; England 

Sound Samples

A Song for All Seas, All Ships (Andante maestoso)
On the Beach at Night, Alone (Largo sostenuto)
Scherzo: The Waves (Allegro brillante)
The Explorers (Grave e molto adagio)
Lento; Allegro risoluto
Lento
Scherzo (Nocturne)
Andante con moto; Maestoso alla marcia; Allegro; Epilogue
Allegro pesante
Adagio
Presto
Overture

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