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  • Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 2
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Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 2

Price: £28.63
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Frequently Bought Together

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 2 + Vaughan Williams: Symphonies No. 3 Pastoral & Symphony No.5 + Williams: Symphonies 4 & 6
Price For All Three: £74.58

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Product details

  • Performer: Dame Felicity Lott, Lisa Milne, Rosa Mannion, Yvonne Kenny
  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Roger Norrington
  • Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Audio CD (11 Sept. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00004U5BG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,096 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lento - Allegro risoluto (Symphony No.2 A London symphony)
2. Lento (Symphony No.2 A London symphony)
3. Scherzo (Nocturne) (Symphony No.2 A London symphony)
4. Andante con moto - Maestoso alla marcia (Symphony No.2 A London symphony)
5. Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis
6. Serenade to Music

Product Description


The good news first. Roger Norrington's starrily cast Serenade to Music remains just as potently beautiful as it did on its initial appearance in 1997 while his clear-headed, defiantly dry-eyed conducting of the timeless Tallis Fantasia certainly offers plenty of food for thought. Nor can there be any grumbles about the startling range and fidelity of Decca's engineering throughout. It's the main item on the menu, however, which may well sharply divide opinion. Although the LPO responds in impressively clean-heeled fashion, Norrington rather fights shy of the London Symphony's breathtakingly varied range of emotions, and anyone familiar with, say, Boult's classic mono recording will surely crave far more in the way of passionate fervour and symphonic thrust. No, for an altogether more involving treatment of Vaughan Williams' perhaps most sheerly loveable symphony, either Handley or Previn really do take some beating, and if you fancy an intelligent alternative view, there's always Haitink's imposingly dark-hued EMI version with the LPO. --Andrew Achenbach

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tintagel on 24 April 2012
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Firstly, the Serenade is magnificent in every way. The sheer intensity of the vocal performances and beauty of the orchestral playing really do mean that this is a performance to return to. Those moments where all 16 soloists blaze at the same time really do make me wish that I had been there at the sessions. Such a fine performance may have been matched elsewhere (Matthew Best's version on Hyperion is just as good), but this would merit a place in anyone's collection just for the Serenade alone.

The Tallis Fantasia also suprised me. I loved this version find plenty of warmth in the playing, though I must admit that Norrington does seem to be reigning in the emotional impact from time to time. I assume that he was trying to avoid sentimentality - and this he most certainly does - but I think that the piece can handle even more expressive flexibility. You only have to hear Barbirolli, or even Andrew Davis to see what I mean.

The London Symphony is perfectly serviceable as a performance, but I wouldn't go any further than that. The sense of wonder distilled by Handley, Previn, Boult and Slatkin seems oddly missing, though there is much affection in the playing. Exciting moments abound, mainly thanks to the vivid engineering, but ultimately I have to say that time is better spent listening to those versions mentioned above.

I COULD suggest that you buy this for the Serenade to music, but the excellent version by Best is included on a disc that really defies criticism (what a magnificent version of the Christmas Carol Fantastia, and an even better on of the Five Mystical Songs!). So why get half of a great deal when you can have a whole one!

If you love having multiple versions of a work then you will find plenty to enjoy, but please don't make this your sole library choice.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Richard Scott on 29 Dec. 2005
These are supreme interpretations. If you are tired of the same run of the mill versions try these. Currently out of print but if you get the chance of a copy, go for it. You will not regret this!
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