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English Song Series 14 - Vaughan Williams: Songs Of Travel


Release Date: 10/18/2005 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557643   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roderick WilliamsIain Burnside
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews





This disc brings us three of Vaughan Williams?s finest song cycles, and the single song Linden Lea , and the combination is very satisfying. Vaughan Williams wrote some of the 20th century?s most beautiful and evocative songs, songs that sound like no other composer and that stay long in the memory after one gets to know them. Vaughan Williams had a keen ear for text-setting, and is one of the rare 20th-century composers whose music amplifies the poems he set without overwhelming them.


This is a lovely compilation, featuring some of the composer?s most effective works in this Read more form. The performances are very good, without erasing the best competition from one?s mind. Roderick Williams is an intelligent and musical singer, with a pleasant light baritone voice. The tone is a bit throaty, but not offensively so, and he sings with a reasonably strong feel for dramatic inflection. There is no question that those who find this repertoire appealing will enjoy this disc, although Naxos could have helped improve that enjoyment by providing texts.


It is when we start comparing with the best competition that the limitations of these performances become clear. Benjamin Luxon?s richly colored and imaginatively inflected performances of the Songs of Travel and Poems by Fredegond Shove (Chandos CHAN 8475), Anthony Rolfe Johnson?s similarly effective recording of the Songs of Travel and The House of Life (EMI 75785) are both more satisfying recordings, not to mention Bryn Terfel?s remarkable reading of the Songs of Travel (DG 445 946), which is coupled with other English songs.


Still, if you own none of this repertoire and find this particular compilation an effective program, Williams and Burnside give good, solid performances that make clear the composer?s genius in this idiom.


FANFARE: Henry Fogel
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Works on This Recording

1.
House of life by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roderick Williams (Baritone), Iain Burnside (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; England 
2.
Poems (4) by Fredegond Shove by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roderick Williams (Baritone), Iain Burnside (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1922; England 
3.
Songs of travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roderick Williams (Baritone), Iain Burnside (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901-1904; England 
4.
Linden Lea by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roderick Williams (Baritone), Iain Burnside (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; England 

Sound Samples

Songs of Travel: The Vagabond
Songs of Travel: Let Beauty awake
Songs of Travel: The Roadside Fire
Songs of Travel: Youth and Love
Songs of Travel: In Dreams
Songs of Travel: The Infinite Shining Heavens
Songs of Travel: Whither must I wander?
Songs of Travel: Bright is the ring of words
Songs of Travel: I have trod the upward and the downward slope
The House of Life: Love-sight
The House of Life: Silent Noon
The House of Life: Love's Minstrels
The House of Life: Heart's Haven
The House of Life: Death in Love
The House of Life: Love's Last Gift
Linden Lea
4 Poems by Fredegond Shove: Motion and Stillness
4 Poems by Fredegond Shove: Four Nights
4 Poems by Fredegond Shove: The New Ghost
4 Poems by Fredegond Shove: The Water Mill

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