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Vaughan Williams: Wasps, Lark Ascending / Seaman


Release Date: 03/10/2009 
Label:  Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog #: 28360   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Jonathan Carney
Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

There are plenty of Vaughan Williams “pops” concerts on the market, but it’s very good to hear from Christopher Seaman, the first conductor I ever met in person. I was a timid teenager, and I’m sure he, like me, has not aged since. Back then, he was with the Northern Sinfonia in England, but he’s had a long and distinguished American career.

These seem to be 1996 recordings reissued as an “Audiophile Collection.” James Miller covered a previous incarnation in 22:5, and he liked it, barring The Lark, which he thought sounded as though “it were a meditation, rather than a performance.” I wouldn’t argue, as the solo violin-playing is low-key, but I never get over the beauty of this piece. Like Miller, I’d love to hear a VW
Read more symphony cycle from Seaman. So much here is up with the best, and the Tallis Fantasia makes a useful antidote to the Barbirolli EMI version. My favorite Tallis is the very different Vernon Handley recording, originally on Classics for Pleasure: the best climax and the best coda. The other performances here are, as Miller said, very close to, or at the top of the pile.

– Paul Ingram, FANFARE [9/2009]

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It seems as long as there is an England, there will be recordings of orchestral favorites by Vaughan Williams. And as this disc with Christopher Seaman leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra attests, most of them will probably be more than acceptable. The reasons for this happy state of affairs are not hard to fathom. Vaughan Williams wrote some of the most beautiful and some of the most quintessentially English music ever composed, and English audiences apparently can no more help wanting to hear it as often as possible than English musicians can help wanting to play it as well as possible.

In Seaman and the London musicians' performances, the hushed sublimity of the Tallis Fantasia, the blissful ecstasy of The Lark Ascending, and the bumptious energy of the English Folk Song Suite are all reproduced with enthusiasm and excitement. Long one of the great London orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic plays here with its trademark combination of tonal opulence and ensemble virtuosity. Seaman may not bring the depth of experience Boult or Barbirolli brought to Vaughan Williams' music, but one has to admire his skill in controlling the breakneck tempos of The Wasps' Overture, as well as his conviction in expressing the radiant glory of the Tallis Fantasia. Recorded in clear, full sound, this disc will please those who know these works and thrill those who don't.

– James Leonard, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The wasps: Overture by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; England 
2.
The wasps: Entr'acte by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; England 
3.
The wasps: March past of the kitchen utensils by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; England 
4.
The lark ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Jonathan Carney (Violin)
Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914/1920; England 
5.
Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910/1919; England 
6.
Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; England 
7.
English Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; England 

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