Ralph Vaughan-Williams Symphonies

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by kenneth cooke, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. kenneth cooke

    kenneth cooke

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    Hi

    I am looking to buy the VW symphonies on CD. I read that the Boult recordings are the closest to the composers ideal, in fact I gather he was present at the recordings. However I prefer the Previn Synphonia Antarctica as I think the quotes from Scotts diary spoken before each movement add a certain something
     
    kenneth cooke, Jul 17, 2006
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  2. kenneth cooke

    alanbeeb Grumpy young fogey

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    Boult is reliable but a bit sober. There are lots of good performances to choose from on CD. The Boult set from 1960s quite often appears on ebay on vinyl.... have missed it a few times now but would love to have it.

    For a complete box set on CD then Vernon Handley & Liverpool Philharmonic on EMI Eminence are probably best bet. Bernard Haitink and London Phil on EMI are good too, but I find Haitink over-emotes at times and generally goes for slowish tempos. Both these sets are well-recorded.

    Of other recordings.... Previn's LSO recordings are only sporadically available (unless they have been re-issued recently), superb analogue recordings, 3 & 5 are highlights.

    For picking individual discs I'd go for the following:
    1 (Sea Symphony) Haitink
    2 (London symphony) Haitink
    3 (Pastoral Symphony) Previn
    4 Handley
    5 Haitink (Expansive) or Handley (direct) both excellent and worthwhile
    6 Andrew Davis BBC SO on Teldec/Warners
    7 Haitink (TBH I don't like this symphony too much so I'm in no position to judge!)
    8 Handley (This symphony is a gem)
    9 Handley or Previn.
     
    alanbeeb, Jul 17, 2006
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  3. kenneth cooke

    lordsummit moderate mod

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    I've got Haitinks recordings, they're very good, but yes if the Boult were available I may well have bought those. Mine were a real impulse buy. I hate that speaking on the Previn recording.
     
    lordsummit, Jul 17, 2006
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  4. kenneth cooke

    kenneth cooke

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    Now that is really interesting, Sir Ralph Richardsons quotes from Scotts diary in the Previn fit perfectly for me. As indeed Sir Richard Burtons voice on War of the Worlds and David Hemmings on Journey to the centre of the Earth and of course Deitrich Fischer- Dieskau's quotes on the Peter Ruzicka String Quartets
     
    kenneth cooke, Jul 18, 2006
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  5. kenneth cooke

    PeteH Natural Blue

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    I've got the Handley and Haitink sets, both of which are embarrassingly good value for money (currently available at £14 and £13 respectively, as you can see). I'd lean towards the Handley as being generally a bit more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and less wallowy than Haitink, though to be honest either (or both!) would be worth having. In their current configurations both sets also include loads of worthwhile additions in addition to the ubiquitous Lark and the Greensleeves and Tallis fantasias - for example, the Oboe Concerto and Partita for Double String Orchestra with Handley and the Norfolk Rhapsody no. 1 and In the Fen Country with Haitink.

    I bought the Handley set first having acquired several of the individual issues and subsequently purchased the Haitink set mainly because it seemed churlish not to at less than £2 per disc. To be honest I've never really felt the need to explore further any of the other available alternatives.
     
    PeteH, Jul 29, 2006
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  6. kenneth cooke

    JANDL100

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    My preference is for the Previn set. Slatkin also is (surprisingly) fine. Boult is excellent, except (IMO of course) for the plaintive and wimpy sounding "bold sea captain" tenor in the stereo Sea Symphony - truly awful (IMO).

    As separate recordings I'd go for:
    1 - Previn or Slatkin
    2- Hickox (original vsn) (Boult is uninspired here)
    3 - Previn
    4 - not sure.
    5 - Menuhin (simply, utterly marvellous)
    6 - Andrew Davis perhaps, Previn is a little too fleet in the desolate postlogue to the finale, excellent otherwise
    7 - Bakels (Naxos)
    8 - Slatkin
    9 - Slatkin
     
    JANDL100, Nov 30, 2006
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