This 5th is often regarded as RVW's symphonic masterpiece. The 9 symphonies are so wonderfully varied and so uniformly top-quality that's really impossible for me to pick up just one, but the 5th is surely one of the best and the most spiritually searching. The composer quotes some themes from religious works and blends them seamlessly in the flow of his own inspiration. The character of the music is essentially reflective and the orchestration, based mainly on the strings, is wonderfully rich yet transparent. Still, RVW was anything but a simple, one-sided man, and even here there's a hint of unease, a subterranean flow of anguish that always suggested me the troubled search for the Answer, rather than the affirmation of a man that already found it. Thinking about this, the final climax sounds even more jubilant and musically effective. Previn, one of the best interpreters of British music, gives us a deeply-felt, slowly paced, ravishingly played account of this work. Maybe the disturbing elements are not so apparent here (if you want that, listen to Haitink's equally refined but cooler version - I love them both), but as a perfectly idiomatic, lovingly respectful view of this work, this is the best modern recording that I know. (...) Previn's kind of approach is even more effective with the Tallis Fantasia, an endlessly fascinating piece indeed which receives a first-rate interpretation. (On my list , though, it has been displaced by the incredible 1975 Stokowski recording with this same orchestra- see review) The sound of a RPO on top-form is very well captured by Telarc, with none of the engineering problems that, to my ears, marred Previn's digital "London".