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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something rather special...
Every so often a CD comes along where just one track takes your breath away, and no matter what the disc cost it immediately becomes priceless in your collection. Here the track in question is 21), an arrangement by VW for voice, violin and piano of the folksong "How cold the wind doth blow", also known as "The Unquiet Ghost". I'd never heard this arrangment by VW before...
Published on 28 July 2008 by B. Cronin

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To clever by half
This CD was a great disappointment it lacked the sentiment, patriotism or rum bustioness of good old English songs. It tried to be too cleaver by half a solo piano is not the best accompaniment fiddles etc show this music in its best light. the arrangements were also far to arty. Glad I only paid less than a fiver for it. It should make a good bird scarer for the vegi...
Published 10 months ago by David Onions


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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something rather special..., 28 July 2008
By 
B. Cronin "hart-reaver" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Folksong Arrangements [British Composers] (Audio CD)
Every so often a CD comes along where just one track takes your breath away, and no matter what the disc cost it immediately becomes priceless in your collection. Here the track in question is 21), an arrangement by VW for voice, violin and piano of the folksong "How cold the wind doth blow", also known as "The Unquiet Ghost". I'd never heard this arrangment by VW before (he arranged it a number of times), and was literally blown away. The singing, by the wonderful Robert Tear, and the equally wonderful accompaniment from Hugh Bean and Philip Ledger (the former made the best recording EVER of The Lark Ascending, with Boult, by the way), allied to the timeless melody and tragic words, will break your heart. It is as simple as that.

The rest of the disc is almost as marvellous - that is meant as praise, for track 21 is in a class of its own. Buy it now, while it is cheap and available.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, 5 April 2009
By 
Colin W. Lees "Colin" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Folksong Arrangements [British Composers] (Audio CD)
I once owned these songs on LP and - long after I'd ditched my LP collection for CD's - I remembered them and hoped that one day they would re-appear on compact disc.

Folk song was in RVW's blood, of course; if not from birth, from the time when he began collecting old songs from elderly singers in East Anglia, and it was folk song from which - with English music of the Tudor age - he forged his own inimitable musical voice. So these songs must have had a special place in the composer's heart.

Back in the early years of the 20th century, those eager to preserve folk-song thought that the only way to keep them in the public consciousness was to turn them into 'art-songs', performed either by trained soloists with instrumental accompaniment or by choral groups. These settings are in that tradition, of course. RVW, Holst, Cecil Sharp and the other collectors could not have anticipated the rise, later in the century, of interest in singing these songs in a more 'authentic' style by untrained and often unaccompanied singers.

No one sets folk-songs better than RVW. To my ears, his settings are as heart-felt and sincere as Britten's are arch and affected. The performances could not be bettered and, as the previous reviewer says so eloquently, track 21 "How Cold the Wind Doth Blow" is a deeply moving masterpiece.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another VW Masterpiece, 30 Dec 2010
This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Folksong Arrangements [British Composers] (Audio CD)
This is one of those cd's that when you first listen to it you sit and think 'yes, what a great buy'
The music is simply amazing with Robert Tear singing with such warmth and brilliant musicianship.
I now live in NZ and this cd really gives me a vivid picture of England (or how it use to be).
This cd is really worth the time. Buy it!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully and Quintessentially English Music, 24 Aug 2009
By 
R. Horrigan "herbydoodle" (Hull, England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Folksong Arrangements [British Composers] (Audio CD)
The Vaughan Williams arrangements contained on this album are played with true passion and respect- almost reverence- for the great composer's music and his love of English folk music and a simpler way of life. Listening to this music will simply bring a smile to your face, and fill you with a hope of better times to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real business, 28 Jun 2012
This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Folksong Arrangements [British Composers] (Audio CD)
Anyone new to British folk music will soon realise that the reason its here is because of the scholastic approach that the songs were collected in the field by classical composers like Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten who transcribed the songs many times for use in their own compositions or arrnaged them into suites.
The book by A E Lloyd -Folk Songs in England-tells how this was done.
The actual versions of the songs as recorded at the time by amatuer singers like Walter Pardon and Harry Cox remained unaccompanied and are an acquired taste
Preserved at the Cecil Sharp House in London this is where many in the 70s would find the songs and record them eg Steeleye Span or the Fairport Convention
Which is roughly how the land lied and how the songs were ever heard.
In the 50s a label was set up called Topic and it went from there.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for relaxing!, 31 Aug 2011
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Folksong Arrangements [British Composers] (Audio CD)
The late Robert Tear has a fine and lovely crystal clear voice which just makes this Album so much more enjoyable. I love the type of singing that is only accompanied by Piano. My favourite here is the six minute: 'How Cold The Wind Doth Blow' - accompanied here by a Violin also. Six studies in English Folk Song are placed at the end which were recorded in 1963 with Violin and Piano. You will find this CD great to 'de-stress' to. Some of these EMI Classics are amazingly good value!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VW Folksongs, 7 April 2010
By 
Mr. A. Brown - See all my reviews
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I knew this product from an old LP. Good to hear it in its digital perfection. The only problem I experienced was getting itunes to recognise all the tracks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice collection, 2 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Folksong Arrangements [British Composers] (Audio CD)
A great collection of British folk tunes by VW. The recording is fresh and engaging and it provides a nice bridge between his folk roots and VW's own music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All I could wish for., 14 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Folksong Arrangements [British Composers] (Audio CD)
This recording 'ticked all the boxes' as they say. It is the 'must have' for those that like o take their favourite vocal arrangements in small packages. Each song is a gem with much to choose from on this lovely CD. A brilliant collection, encapsulating the very best in English Folksong.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Vaughan Williams arrangements performed beautifully but a classical voice rather than a natural one, 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Folksong Arrangements [British Composers] (Audio CD)
This is a professional treatment of folk songs. Lovely Vaughan Williams arrangements performed beautifully but a classical voice rather than a natural one, so if you prefer folk songs to sound "folky" not one to go for.
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