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Vaughan Williams: The Complete Symphonies, The Lark Ascending, Tallis Fantasia, etc. Box set


Price: 14.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Vaughan Williams: The Complete Symphonies, The Lark Ascending, Tallis Fantasia, etc. + The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams (Cambridge Companions to Music)
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Product details

  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink
  • Audio CD (2 Sep 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00D56AD8K
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,746 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ab on 31 Mar 2014
I am the president of the All England Vaughan Williams Is A Greater Composer Than Mozart Society.
The Society has only two articles of faith.
1) Vaughan Williams is a greater composer than Mozart.
2) Mozart is not as great a composer as Vaughan Williams.
Membership of the society is not large (one), but we make up for this by KNOWING THAT WE ARE RIGHT.
David Hurwitz wanted to become a member, but the society as a whole (me) wouldn't let him join.
The reason we wouldn't let him join was his review of Bernard Haitink's complete survey of the greatest symphonic cycle outside of Beethoven's.
Hurwitz accuses this music making of being "unidiomatic". I have no idea which idiom it is that Haitink and the LPO are beyond the bounds of but I can tell you this...
I have owned this set for years in its previous yellow box incarnation. I also own Boult's stereo cycle, Previn's LSO cycle and several other recordings variously by Barbirolli, Hickox, Berglund, Handley, Andrew Davies and others.
I can only think of two or three other performances of ANY of these noble works which outshine those in this box. They would be Hickox (Virgin) in the Sea Symphony - he has more spring in his step which helps at times, Previn (LSO - RCA) in the London (amazing swagger in the first movement) and Barbirolli (EMI) in the fifth - who is simply unmissable, heartfelt, heart-breaking and tender. But even in these three symphonies Haitink is very fine. I certainly cannot imagine the big, grand sections of the Sea Symphony bigger or grander. The Second is noble powerful, the Fifth superbly paced and - well - just beautiful. Numbers 3,4,6,7,8,9 receive sublime performances - the Pastoral in particular is the most beautiful and the finest version I know, very moving.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Dec 2013
EMI Classics swallowed up by Warner and the Haitink cycle of RVW symphonies is reissued in mud brown rather than the old mustard and spinach monstrosity. Pick your poison. Ugly packaging aside, the qualities of the Dutchman's RVW interpretations remain undiminished and clear for all to hear. Mostly magnificient, one should conclude.

An all digital offering, started in the late '80s and concluded roundabout the millennium. Why not start at the end, with sublime readings of the tintinnabulating 8th and the visionary Hardyesque 9th. A little further back and Haitink is fully attuned to the offbeat appeal of Antarctica and the apocalyptic 6th Symphony; the 5th is given a more earthy and grieving account than the usual rarified soundings, and like the 6th the 4th is a wonderfully potent impression of Beethoven in the world of Shostakovich. Haitink coaxes all the substance out of RVW's Pastoral inspiration and gives London its multinational head (No.2). The Sea Symphony remains my least favourite but no-one has ever disputed the qualities of this recording.

Alongside the biggies, enjoy ace renditions of Norfolk Rhapsody, Wenlock Edge and wholly professional takes of Tallis and Lark Ascending. Amongst the digital cycles you could not do better and the analogue generation scarcely had more authority. Wholly recommendable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. K. C. Feltham on 21 May 2014
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This set of CDs contains some wonderfully stirring music which I play constantly. How moving these symphonies are. It is good to have the extra shorter pieces as well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Wonderful Reissue! 15 Jun 2014
By Eric M. Dietel - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Vaughan Williams is one of most underrated 20th century composers and one whose musical message is often short sided as to it's musical stature, and serious interpretations. It is often produce as to simply mimic English folk tunes on a very predictable display of sweetness.
With this set by Bernard Haitink, his true musical genius and true importance is very much on display. I own all the available VW symphony sets, Lp and Cd, and this is the one I will return to. Beautiful!
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