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Vaughan Williams: String Quartet No 2, Etc / Nash Ensemble


Release Date: 06/11/2002 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67313   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Paul WatkinsIan BrownMarianne ThorsenElizabeth Wexler,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This disc offers a broad selection of Vaughan Williams' chamber music written between 1912 and 1952, and it illustrates how the composer maintained an overall consistency of style over that 40-year period, particularly in his fascination with modal melodic and harmonic structures. The program begins with The Lake in the Mountains (1941), an atmospheric tone poem for solo piano that evokes the placid scene indicated by the title. The 1926 Six Studies in English Folksong for cello and piano continues in this same languorous vein, while the Phantasy Quintet, the earliest piece in this collection, displays a contrasting rhythmic energy and youthful freshness as well as a lyrical charm that always would
Read more be a component of the composer's "light" music.


Next comes the A minor Violin Sonata, which not only is the latest, but also is the most substantial work here. With its broad, modal themes and episodic developmental sequences it stands as vintage late-Vaughan Williams. Finally we have the 1943 String Quartet No. 2, a work whose dramatic profile and emotional intensity reflect the wartime era during which it was composed. The Nash Ensemble's sensitive, keenly focused, and beautifully played renderings fully realize all the disparate elements, from the terse to the transcendent, that comprise this beguiling music. Hyperion's recording presents each instrumental grouping in a solid three-dimensional sound image with realistic dynamic range, making this exploration of the non-orchestral side of Vaughan Williams an aural delight you'll want to regularly revisit. [10/5/2002]
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Studies (6) in English Folksong by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Paul Watkins (Cello), Ian Brown (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; England 
2. Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Marianne Thorsen (Violin), Elizabeth Wexler (Violin), Lawrence Power (Viola),
Paul Watkins (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942-1944; England 
3. Phantasy Quintet for Strings by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Paul Watkins (Cello), Louise Williams (Viola), Elizabeth Wexler (Violin),
Marianne Thorsen (Violin), Lawrence Power (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
4. Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Marianne Thorsen (Violin), Ian Brown (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; England 
5. The Lake in the Mountains by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Ian Brown (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 

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