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CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
The Collector’s Edition
The Masterpieces – The Greatest Artists
Symphonies, concertos, orchestral music, choral music, songs, folk songs, chamber music, five operas
Various artists
rec. London,. Liverpool, Manchester, 1965-1995. ADD/DDD
Full contents list at end of review
EMI CLASSICS 2066362 [30 CDs: 34 hrs]

Experience Classicsonline

Richard Abram is the guiding mind behind this ambitious and unique Vaughan Williams collection. He was also behind the EMI Elgar Collector’s Edition. Of all the recording labels EMI Classics offered the greatest breadth and depth of VW catalogue from which to choose. They have three cycles of the symphonies (Boult, Handley and Haitink) and they carry at least two different versions of many of the major choral works.

The Edition is remarkable for its generosity and economy rather than for its lavish presentation. The thirty discs reside each in its own plain envelope with a polythene panel on one face allowing easy inspection of the disc number and a telegraphed synopsis of the contents is printed on the non-playing surface of each disc. The thirty envelopes sit alongside a 40 page booklet in a slip-case inner-sleeve which slots into a thick card outer sheath. This product is stripped down to barest essentials. The booklet offers no essay nor any introduction to each work nor are the sung words included. This is therefore not for the collector who wants the ‘compleat’ package. It will however suit the nervous explorer, the adventurous bargain hunter and those on a tight budget – few of us are on anything else.

It’s an astonishing package. We hear all nine symphonies in the recordings made in Liverpool by Vernon Handley during the 1980s and 1990s. His very perceptive way with symphonies dominates the box and its accomplishments are only diluted by the slightly opaque recording. The Handley set has been available in boxed set form before now and can be had individually on the CFP issues all of which have been reviewed here (see below).

A Sea Symphony has a well drilled choir - Ian Tracey's hand at work here, I suspect. Words are enunciated with a razor-sharp coordinated focus. Try that tour de force The scherzo - The Waves. It’s just as well they are so good as none of the words are included in the booklet. There’s an invigorating nice snap to the playing: listen to the woodwind playing in Today a rude brief recitative. It's a fine performance which engaged me far more than usual and brought out the Stanfordian influences - Songs of the Sea. Surprising things appear such as the rocking ostinato at start of A pennant universal - so typical of a work lying five years in the future, Bax's Tintagel. There are a wonderful 15 tracking entry points on this CD - a superb version from which to study the score.

The first time I heard A London Symphony live was in one of a pair of concerts given by Handley and the RLPO in celebration of his seventieth birthday. It was given in Philharmonic Hall. The other work was I think Bax's Violin Concerto with Chantal Juillet -such a pity she was never offered the opportunity to record the Concerto. Handley however made the Symphony glow. His is a vivid reading with much poetry alongside the street noises of the great city. Rather like Peter Ackroyd’s magnificent three part documentary about London (2004) this captures in detail - that is both picaresque and mystical - one person's city vista. The same sharply etched rhythms which distinguish The waves in A Sea Symphony also can be heard here in a work dedicated to that other brilliant Stanford pupil the doomed George Butterworth who had only a couple of years to live before a sniper's bullet cut his life short in France. From many years later comes the chimingly inventive Eighth Symphony - it always strikes me as a symphony of the graces - Botticellian in its serene curvature. There are the a Vanity Fair grotesqueries of the second movement and for me a sense of the Commedia dell’Arte. Is that a touch of Shostakovich in the sensational woodwind writing? To what extent, I wonder, was Britten influenced by this work in his ballet Prince of the Pagodas. I am not letting go of my allegiance to the analogue Barbirolli version on a magnificent Dutton double but this is a super fine performance. Wonderful stuff and things work similarly well for the other symphonies.

Both the other EMI RVW symphony cycles can still be purchased should you wish: Boult (mostly 1960-70) – earlier than Handley - and Haitink (1990s). The first seven discs are given over to Handley’s Vaughan Williams. From that point we start to encounter, over discs 8 and 9, parts of the Boult RVW project including Job and the Piano Concerto in its two piano version. EMI have already given us the solo piano with orchestra edition as played by Piers Lane. Boult is also at the helm for some of the other orchestral pieces which in vinyl days served as fillers on the Boult symphony LPs. Disc 10 is quite miscellaneous – in a good way! - mixing the roseate romanticism of Silvestri’s vivid Tallis Fantasia with the brass band version of the Folksong Suite, Groves’ bereft but stirring Dawn Patrol being, alongside Hickox’s 49th Parallel on CD 11, one of the very few direct representatives of the RVW film music. Anent Boult’s rather reserved Concerto Grosso it’s a pity Abram did not opt for Del Mar’s 1960s version which really sprang vividly to life. Then there’s Larry Adler’s fantastic harmonica Romance where the composer is in experimental form with the solo instrument wailing and ululating. It is almost as if Adler and RVW were serenading Scott's Antarctic penguins. It is an engaging piece; cold but full of welcoming strangeness. The recording now shows its age a little. As for Catelinet’s Tuba Concerto this is rather ‘breathy-lippy’ as I put it when first reviewing this recording. It is good but not to be preferred over the Previn’s 1960s version with the LSO’s tuba principal John Fletcher (RCA/BMG – see review). Hickox takes over for CD 11 with the notable tracks being the orchestra-only version of the Serenade to Music, the ballet Old King Cole complete with choir and the Five Mystical Songs taken by Stephen Roberts who is good but not as good as the older and exultant EMI Mystical Songs by Shirley-Quirk. Gordon Jacob arranged Vaughan Williams’ Variations for Brass Band for orchestra. You can hear this on CD 12 alongside Bradley Creswick’s Concerto Accademico. The Concerto was for many years known only through James Buswell IV’s recording with Previn on RCA-BMG (see review). Buswell re-emerged about a decade ago with the two Piston Violin Concertos on Naxos (see review). Not all packages can be perfectly neat – thus CD 12 ends with the Britten Quartet’s fine early 1990s recording of Vaughan Williams’ String Quartet No. 1. CD 13 is neat with four mature major chamber works all from the hands of the members of the Music Group of London.

CD 14 onwards returns us to a trio of conductors whose batons swept over the choral works renaissance in the 1960s and early 1970s. They straddle centenary year in 1972: Boult, Meredith Davies and Willcocks. RVW was even celebrated that year with a Post Office stamp. So many of these recordings are world premieres. While Dona Nobis Pacem had been pipped at the post by Abravanel's fine version (Vanguard) and Toward the Unknown Region by Sargent (EMI) recordings of the Fantasia on the Old 104th, the Magnificat and many of the others were firsts on commercial disc. I was raised on the Westbrook version of An Oxford Elegy. All lovers of the English language should flock to that work and that recording though the Nimbus version from Jack May is pretty good too. Such a potent combination - Westbrook's voice and the nostalgic sweetness of Vaughan Williams. Flos Campi is one of RVW’s most sheerly beautiful, even sensuous, pieces. I love this version but Frederick Riddle version once on RCA and now on Chandos is also good. It used to be on an RCA LP with the suite for viola and orchestra. Toward the Unknown Region is early RVW and establishes his prolonged affair with the poetry of Walt Whitman; as close and sustained as Finzi's with Hardy’s poetry. The sound securely distinguishes the various sumptuously rounded strands of serenity and ecstasy. Boult's Dona has the white-toned Sheila Armstrong, John Carol Case and the London Philharmonic Choir. They put British reserve aside for the savagery of "Beat! Beat! Drums …" achieving an effect not that far removed from the chaotic rammy of Bliss’s The City Arming from Morning Heroes (Royal Liverpool Phil Choir). This is a much more effective image of apocalyptic violence than Franz Schmidt's contemporary Book of the Seven Seals and is more emotionally expressive than Eugene Goossens’ The Apocalypse. John Carol Case, who in five years, was to find his vibrato difficult to subdue (Lyrita Recorded Edition in Finzi Let us Garlands Bring) is here controlled and rounded in tone. William Christensen on the Abravanel recording (Vanguard) has more humanity and emotional baggage. The singing of the words "… the hands of the sisters: death and night" is very touching indeed. Boult handles the Dirge for Two Veterans with implacable funereal nobility and it remains intriguing to compare his friend Holst’s setting of the same text once recorded by the Baccholian Singers. The Fantasia on the Old 104th has a crashingly rebellious solo piano part despatched with darkling concentration by Peter Katin who, in a handful of years time, was to record Finzi's similarly unrepentantly gawky Grand Fantasia and Toccata for Lyrita. I recall the original EMI LP which had Boult's version of the RVW Ninth Symphony as the coupling. The Fantasia is an oddball work yet full of interest. A late piece echoing with strange sonorities it somehow brackets itself in the company of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia. The Magnificat introduces Meredith Davies as conductor. Here the linkages are with the Sinfonia Antartica notably in the succulently rounded Gallic flute playing of Christopher Hyde-Smith. The Ambrosian Singers remind us of the choral writing in An Oxford Elegy and especially in Flos Campi. The late 1960s saw an eruption of recording activity as centenary year hove in sight. Five Tudor Portraits at last secured its recording premiere. It is difficult to imagine it being done any better although I concede that Elizabeth Bainbridge is far too matronly and tends to squall. John Carol Case is in beefily strong voice. Yet he is delectable in the sweetly light ballad My Pretty Bess. Listen to his meshing with the chorus in the last two minutes of the ballad. It is still something of a shock to encounter the direct Orff quotation in the Burlesca. However the fulcrum of the work is the Romanza (a favourite RVW term) Jane Scroop - Her Lament for Philip Sparrow. This is sensuous, touching, exotic - a cortège of symphonic gravity. There is some slight choral scrappiness in the faster tongue-twisting passages but exuberance exonerates and exalts all. The Benedicite makes a joyfully euphoric impression and Heather Harper is wondrously clear and splendidly ripe of tone. The Dives and Lazarus Variants is a noble work extremely aptly turned by the Jacques Orchestra. John Barrow contributes his sweetly cavernous baritone to the Christmas Carol Fantasia. The hit of the work is certainly On Christmas Night (third movement). A more ambitious and probing seasonal work is the late Hodie termed A Christmas Cantata. This is another anthology work. The recorded balance is miraculously right-feeling in the pipe organ accompanied choral narration - Now the birth of Jesus Christ. This is a work that should be done far more often as should that other Christmas cantata: Cyril Rootham's Milton-based Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity – still waiting impatiently in the wings for its first recording. The highlights of Hodie are Janet Baker's It was the winter wild (Milton), John Shirley-Quirk's baritone in the setting of Hardy's Oxen, kin with the Five Mystical Songs, the Herbert setting of Pastoral (again Shirley-Quirk) and Bright Portals of the Sky (directly referenced to the film music for ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ and indeed to Grace Williams' scena Fairest of Stars). It is regally exhilarating in Milton's Ring Out ye crystal spheres. The clamour of bells, large and small prepares any audience to go out glowing into the snowy night and home.

The Partita is not reckoned as prime RVW - it tends to coldness - but the darting bustle of the scherzo ostinato is likeable in a disconcertingly Britten-like way. The Concerto Grosso is a much more emotional piece where humanity smiles warmly. This is affecting and instantly accessible but it is not the equal of the electrically rapturous Del Mar Bournemouth recording (EMI). Boult keeps a lid on the emotionalism which the earlier recording happily sheds to loveable and exciting effect. Sargent's Tallis Fantasia is now approaching 65 years old. However it sounds fine and while it lacks Barbirolli's rapt intensity and ecstatic concentration it is no mean performance … if slightly hurried. The Romance gives us Larry Adler in experimental form, his harmonica wailing and ululating. It is almost as if he was serenading Scott's Antarctic penguins. It is an engaging fantasy of a piece - perhaps rather cold but full of strangeness. The recording now shows its age. Another Romance - this time for violin and orchestra - ends the CD.

There are several CDs of English song some with orchestra, some with piano alone. Robert Tear (the head-line British tenor for many years) is dark-toned and faintly nasal. The orchestral contribution is frankly superb but my preference would be for the lighter-hued voice of Gerald English (Unicorn nla but you may be able to track it down). In any event Tear gives lovely performances and Bredon Hill with its serene shimmer has not been done better. The Songs of Travel are rooted back into Parry. The orchestrations (three) are by RVW and the rest by Roy Douglas. Thomas Allen shows a very clean pair of heels to Robert Tear managing a lovely honeyed lightness. "I have trod the upward and the downward slope" neatly echoes the decay of the tramping theme of "The Vagabond" giving a rounded sense to the cycle. Anthony Rolfe Johnson and David Willison; the latter best known as Benjamin Luxon's accompanist, address the songs with piano. Here the tenor is as dark-tinged as Tear, but so much sweeter, less acidulous, keyed more effectively into the honey and eschewing the vinegar.

The RVW Mass is cleanly and coldly sung as befits its Medievalist origins. These are presented with a host of other devotional choral pieces and hymns including All People that on Earth Do Dwell, Te Deum in G, Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn tunes, O Clap Your Hands and O Taste and See. The secular songs including Four Hymns, Merciless Beauty, Two songs of Fredegond Shove, Ten Blake Songs and Wenlock Edge are taken by Ian Partridge (tenor) and the Music Group of London. Songs and folksongs with piano and choral folksong arrangements are not neglected. The various artists include the London Madrigal Singers/Christopher Bishop and the Baccholian Singers of London. There are also some solo folksong arrangements and the choral-melodramatic A Song of Thanksgiving – the latter with Robert Speaight (orator) and the LPO/Adrian Boult.

The operas are well represented with the chilly, austere and desolate Riders to the Sea from Norma Burrowes; Margaret Price; Helen Watts; Benjamin Luxon and Pauline Stevens with the Ambrosian Singers and the Orchestra Nova of London/Meredith Davies. This is placed with Epithalamion. Three other operas take up the last six discs in the set. Hugh the Drover - a ballad opera - with Robert Tear; Sheila Armstrong; Michael Rippon; Robert Lloyd and the Choristers of St Paul's Cathedral; RPO/Charles Groves (CD 25-26), that delightful masterpiece Sir John in Love with Felicity Palmer; Robert Tear; Robert Lloyd; Helen Watts and the New Philharmonia/Meredith Davies (CD 27-28) and finally his operatic testament: Pilgrim’s Progress with Ian Partridge; John Shirley-Quirk; Jean Temperley; John Noble; LPChoir and LPO/Adrian Boult (CD 29-30). It even includes the rehearsal sequence with which it first appeared on LP.

There is a remarkable range of music here but what is ‘missing’? You will not hear the original version of the London Symphony (CHAN 9902 – see review), nor the entertaining opera - parallel to Holst’s Perfect Fool - The Poisoned Kiss (see review). You will not hear the big pastoral work - Folk Songs of the Four Seasons - written for the WI in the 1950s and time after time disdained by promoters and labels. It awaited a first recording for many years until rescued by the valuable Albion label. You will look in vain for the Fantasia on Sussex Folk Tunes for cello and orchestra unless you track down the Lloyd Webber birthday double on RCA-BMG (see review). You would have to go to Lyrita for The Sons of Light (see review) and Chandos for the Choral Hymns in Time of War (CHAN 9984 – see review). You will need Hyperion if you want the early chamber music (see review) and ASV to catch the otherworldly Three Vocalises for soprano and clarinet – akin to Antartica – on ASV Platinum, PLT8520 (see review); originally ASV CD DCA 891 (Emma Johnson; Judith Howarth). The other Housman song-cycle, the melancholically beautiful Along the Field (voice and solo violin) can be heard on Gordon Pullin’s own label where Pullin is accompanied by Beth Spendlove (see review) and on Decca with Thomas Woodman and Nancy Bean (see review). The complete Wasps music is on the Hallé’s own label (see review). Willow Wood is coupled with another version of The Sons of Light on Naxos (see review). The very brief Flourish for Glorious John – all of 1:35 – was, after issue on an individual CD (09026 61196 2), only available as part of Leonard Slatkin’s RCA-BMG Red Seal cycle of the Symphonies (issued 1993, now deleted). For a splendid selection and superbly executed and recorded performances of the film music go to the three volumes on Chandos (I, II, III and collected edition box). Stephen Hogger has done a great deal of work to reconstruct much of the film music and we should not forget his realisation of the Second Norfolk Rhapsody on Chandos CHAN 10001 (see review). The opera scene The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains can be heard in isolation on the new Hyperion RVW box (see review) but it forms an episode (identical?) in the ‘Morality’ Pilgrim’s Progress on CDs 29-30. Christopher Palmer’s version of the incidental music for a 1942 radio adaptation of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ (The Pilgrim’s ProgressA Bunyan Sequence) can be also had on the Hyperion set (see review). The ‘Whitman Nocturne’: ‘Whispers of Heavenly Death’ is on another Hickox Chandos disc (CHAN 10103). While RVW’s concert cantata drawing on Sir John in Love is part of the set you can only track down Maurice Jacobson’s 40 minute Cotswold Romance - similar piece of composer-authorised pragmatism for Hugh The Drover on Chandos CHAN 9646 (see review). There it shares a disc with the equally rare incidental music for the Maeterlinck play The Death of Tintagiles. The major Christmas sequence, The First Nowell is also on Chandos – CHAN 10385 (see review).

The discs come in at £1.30 a piece when you buy the 30 CD set.. Remember that in 1971 collectors were paying £2-£2.40 per premium LP. The EMI Boult symphonies LPs were later packaged in one large box (SLS822) and the choral works in another big box (SLS5082). Amazon prices the 30 disc set at about £35 including p&p.

There is nothing like this anywhere whether at this or any price and there’s hardly a single dud in the collection. Any serious explorer who has not amassed many of these works already should get this and begin a journey of discovery. The only down side is the lack of documentation and texts but a reasonably tenacious explorer with access to the internet and library should be able to repair that omission.

Rob Barnett

Detailed contents list
CD 1
A Sea Symphony - Joan Rodgers; William Shimell; RLPO/Vernon Handley
CD 2
London Symphony & Symphony No. 8 – RLPO/Vernon Handley
CD 3
Pastoral Symphony and Symphony No. 4 Alison Barlow; RLPO/Vernon Handley
CD 4
Oboe Concerto & Symphony No. 5 - Jonathan Small; RLPO/Vernon Handley
CD 5
Symphonies Nos. 6 & 9 – RLPO/Vernon Handley
CD 6
Serenade to Music (choral), Partita for Double String Orchestra, Sinfonia Antartica – RLPO/Vernon Handley
CD 7
The Wasps Suite, Prelude & Fugue in C minor, Piano Concerto in C - Piers Lane (piano); LPO/Vernon Handley; RLPO/Vernon Handley
CD 8
Piano Concerto in C for two pianos, Job - Vitya Vronsky, Victor Babin (pianos); LPO and LSO/Adrian Boult
CD 9
Serenade to Music (16 soloists), English Folk Songs Suite (orch), Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1, The Lark Ascending, Greensleeves Fantasia, In the Fen Country - Hugh Bean (violin); LSO/Adrian Boult; New Philharmonia Orchestra/Adrian Boult
CD 10
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, English Folk Songs Suite (band), Sea Songs march (band), Dawn patrol, Concerto grosso, Tuba Concerto, Harmonica Romance - Various Artists
CD 11
Serenade to Music (orchestral only version), Poisoned Kiss overture, Old King Cole - ballet, Five Mystical Songs, Sea Songs march (orchestral), Running Set, 49th Parallel Prelude; Northern Sinfonia of England/Richard Hickox
CD 12
Variations for Brass Band (orch Gordon Jacob), Concerto accademico for violin and orchestra in D minor, String Quartet No. 1, Three preludes (II; III), Two Hymn Tune Preludes - Bournemouth SO/Richard Hickox; Northern Sinfonia of England/Richard Hickox; Britten Quartet
CD 13
Violin Sonata in A minor, String Quartet No. 2, Phantasy Quintet, Six Studies in English Folk Song (cello) - Music Group of London
CD 14
Toward the Unknown Region, Dona nobis pacem, Magnificat etc - LPO / Adrian Boult
CD 15
An Oxford Elegy, Flos campi, Whitsunday Hymn, Sancta Civitas - KCC / LSO / David Willcocks
CD 16
Five Tudor Portraits, Benedicite, Five variants of 'Dives and Lazarus - John Carol Case / Bach Choir / New Phil Orch / LSO / David Willcocks
CD 17
Hodie, Fantasia on Christmas Carols (w/strings & organ) - Janet Baker / Bach Choir / LSO / David Willcocks
CD 18
Fantasia on Christmas Carols (w/orch), In Windsor Forest, Songs of travel, On Wenlock Edge - Various Artists
CD 19
Mass in G minor, All People that on Earth Do Dwell, Te Deum in G, Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn tunes, other sacred choral - KCC / David Willcocks
CD 20
Four Hymns, Merciless Beauty, Ten Blake Songs, Wenlock Edge - Ian Partridge / Music Group of London
CD 21
The House of Life, Songs of Travel (piano) - Anthony Rolfe Johnson / David Willison
CD 22
Songs with piano, choral folksong arrangements - Various Artists
CD 23
Solo folksong arrangements, A Song of Thanksgiving - LPO / Adrian Boult
CD 24
Epithalamion, Riders to the Sea - LPO / David Willcocks / Orchestra Nova of London / Meredith Davies
CD 25 & CD 26
Hugh the Drover - Robert Tear / Sheila Armstrong / Michael Rippon / Robert Lloyd / Choristers of St Paul's Cathedral / RPO / Charles Groves
CD 27 & CD 28
Sir John in Love - Felicity Palmer / Robert Tear / Robert Lloyd / Helen Watts / New Phil Orch / Meredith Davies
CD 29 & CD 30
Pilgrim's Progress & rehearsal sequence - Ian Partridge / John Shirley-Quirk / Jean Temperley / John Noble / LPC / LPO / Adrian Boult

Overview list

Symphonies Nos. 1-9
Joan Rodgers; William Shimell; Alison Barlow; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley

Oboe Concerto in A minor
Jonathan Small; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley

Serenade to Music (choral version)
Partita for double string orchestra
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley

The Wasps - Aristophanic Suite
Prelude and Fugue in C minor
London Philharmonic Orchestra; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley

Piano Concerto in C major
Piers Lane; London Philharmonic Orchestra; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley

Piano Concerto in C for two pianos
Vitya Vronsky; Victor Babin; London Philharmonic Orchestra/Adrian Boult

Serenade to Music
English Folk Song Suite (orchestral version)
Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1
The Lark Ascending
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
London Symphony Orchestra; New Philharmonia Orchestra/Adrian Boult

English Folk Song Suite (band version)
Concerto Grosso for String Orchestra
Tuba Concerto in F minor
Serenade to Music (orchestral)
Old King Cole
Five Mystical Songs
Sea Songs
Northern Sinfonia of England/Richard Hickox

Variations for Brass Band (orchestral)
Violin Concerto in D minor 'Concerto Accademico'
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra & Northern Sinfonia of England/Richard Hickox

String Quartet No. 1 in G minor
Britten Quartet

Violin Sonata in A minor
String Quartet No. 2 in A minor
Music Group of London

Toward the Unknown Region
Dona Nobis Pacem
A Song of Thanksgiving
Riders to the Sea
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Adrian Boult

An Oxford Elegy
Flos Campi
Whitsunday Hymn
Sancta Civitas
Kings College Cambridge & London Symphony Orchestra/David Willcocks

Five Tudor Portraits
Five Variants of ‘Dives and Lazarus'
Bach Choir, New Philharmonia Orch & LSO/David Willcocks

Hodie (A Christmas Cantata) (w/strings & organ)
Janet Baker
Bach Choir
LSO/David Willcocks

Fantasia on Christmas Carols (w/orch)
In Windsor Forest
Songs of Travel
On Wenlock Edge
Mass in G minor
Te Deum in G
All people that on earth do dwell
Household Music
Kings College Cambridge/David Willcocks

Four Hymns
Merciless Beauty
Ten Blake Songs
On Wenlock Edge
Ian Partridge; Music Group of London

House of Life
Songs of Travel
Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor); David Willison (piano)

London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Willcocks

Riders to the Sea
Orchestra Nova of London/Meredith Davies

Hugh the Drover
Robert Tear; Sheila Armstrong; Michael Rippon & Robert Lloyd; Choristers of St Paul's Cathedral & RPO/Charles Groves

Sir John in Love
Felicity Palmer; Robert Tear; Robert Lloyd & Helen Watts; New Philharmonia Orchestra/Meredith Davies

The Pilgrim's Progress (complete) & rehearsal sequence
Ian Partridge; John Shirley-Quirk; Jean Temperley & John Noble; LPC; LPO/Adrian Boult

RVW Reviews on MusicWeb International – a selection


4 3

Antartica Serenade Partita

6 9

2 8


Handley Wasps

Tuba concerto Catelinet

Handley’s Job

Toward the Unknown Region (1), Dona nobis pacem (2), Fantasia (quasi variazione) on the Old 104th Psalm Tune (3), Magnificat (4), Partita (5), Concerto Grosso (6), Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis (7), Romance in D flat (8), The Lark Ascending (9)

Sir John in Love

The Poisoned Kiss

RVW etc choral box

Full Vaughan Williams review index




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