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Vaughan Williams: The Pilgrim's Progress / Hickox, Et Al


Release Date: 05/19/1998 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 9625   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roderick WilliamsPeter Coleman-WrightDonaldson BellRichard Coxon,   ... 
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden OrchestraRoyal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This recording received a 1998 "Critic's Choice" award from BBC Music
magazine.
John Bunyan's religious allegory occupied Ralph Vaughan Williams in one way or another for 46 years. His stage "morality" offers the conundrum of a professed agnostic writing one of the most profoundly religious operas of the twentieth century. For all his popular image as the composer of clever arrangements of English folk song, Vaughan Williams was a profoundly sophisticated composer and this work could reasonably be considered the ultimate statement of his long career.
The libretto, by the composer, takes the Pilgrim through a series of physical and spiritual temptations concluding with his ascent into the celestial city. The music is by turns
Read more lyrical and dramatic, pastoral and frenzied as the drama requires. Throughout, the listener is beguiled by the composer's very precise, liquid setting of the English language. Aside from the Pilgrim most of the large cast appears in striking cameos that are over almost before they appear. As such the work demands the very best in dramatic singing.
The present recording, the second of this mighty work, is very beautiful. The large cast does quite well with the musical and dramatic demands and Chandos' recording is suitably atmospheric. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Pilgrim's progress by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Roderick Williams (Baritone), Peter Coleman-Wright (Baritone), Donaldson Bell (Baritone),
Richard Coxon (Tenor), Francis Egerton (Tenor), Jeremy White (Bass),
Rebecca Evans (Soprano), Jonathan Fisher (Baritone), Neil Gillespie (Tenor),
Gerald Finley (Baritone), Susan Gritton (Soprano), Pamela Helen Stephen (Mezzo Soprano),
John Kerr (Tenor), Robert Hayward (Baritone), Christopher Keyte (Bass Baritone),
Anne-Marie Owens (Mezzo Soprano), Mica Penniman (Voice), Gidon Saks (Bass),
Adrian Thompson (Tenor), Mark Padmore (Tenor)
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949/1952; England 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Colosseum, Watford, England 
Length: 130 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

The Pilgrim's Progress: Prologue: Bunyan in Prison
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act I Scene 1: The Pilgrim meets Evangelist (Pilgrim, Evangelist, 4 Neighbours, Pliable, Timorous, Obstinate, Mistrust)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act I Scene 2: The House Beautiful (Pilgrim, 3 Shining Ones, Interpreter, Chorus)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act I Scene 2: Nocturne (Intermezzo)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act II Scene 1: The Arming of the Pilgrim (Herald, Pilgrim, Chorus)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act II Scene 2: The Pilgrim meets Apollyon (Apollyon, Doleful Creatures, Pilgrim, Branch Bearer, Cup Bearer, Evangelist)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act III Scene 1: Vanity Fair: Buy! What will ye buy! (Lord Lechery, Pilgrim, Demas, Judas Iscariot, Simon Magus, Worldly Glory, Madam Bubble, Madam Wanton, Chorus)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act III Scene 1: I buy the truth! (Pilgrim, Pontius Pilate, Usher, Lord Hate-Good, Envy, Superstition, Pickthank, Malice, Lord Lechery, Chorus)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act III Scene 2: The Pilgrim in Prison (Pilgrim)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act IV Scene 1: The Pilgrim meets Mister By-Ends (Boy, Pilgrim, Mister By-Ends, Madam By-Ends)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Entr'acte -
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act IV Scene 2: The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains: Who so dwelleth ... (First Shepherd, Third Shepherd, Second Shepherd, Pilgrim)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act IV Scene 2: The Lord is my Shepherd (Voice of a Bird, Pilgrim, The 3 Shepherds, Messenger)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Act IV Scene 3: The Pilgrim reaches the End of his Journey (Voices from Heaven)
The Pilgrim's Progress: Epilogue (Bunyan)

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