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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic recordings and excellent value
If you want an inexpensive boxed set of the Vaughan Williams symphonies you will not go wrong here. This was Boult's second set of recordings of the Vaughan Williams symphonies (the earlier set is on Decca) and although the earlier set had the advantage of VW being in on the recording sessions (apart for No 9 as he died on the morning of the recording session), the EMI...
Published on 7 Dec. 2011 by Jeffrey Davis

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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars you'll need more than this (version2)
I suppose this is worth £12, but VW lovers will find more revealing interpretations of most of these symphonies elsewhere. For example:
No.2 is much less involving than Handley (with the London Phil) or Boult in his 1952 recording
No.6 is duller than in Boult's earlier recordings
No.8 sounds a more interesting work under Barbirolli
No.9 - Handley makes...
Published on 28 Oct. 2012 by P. Jenkins


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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic recordings and excellent value, 7 Dec. 2011
By 
Jeffrey Davis "jmd555555" (Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
If you want an inexpensive boxed set of the Vaughan Williams symphonies you will not go wrong here. This was Boult's second set of recordings of the Vaughan Williams symphonies (the earlier set is on Decca) and although the earlier set had the advantage of VW being in on the recording sessions (apart for No 9 as he died on the morning of the recording session), the EMI set has a warmth and eloquence which is very appealing. Boult, after all, gave the first performances of three of the symphonies (Nos 3,4 and 6) and by the time he recorded this set (1967-71) he had a lifetime's experience of performance. All the performances are outstanding and I'd pick out those of A London Symphony, No 4, 5 and 9 as potentially the finest recorded versions of these works. That of No 6 also appeared in a book featuring the 'Top 1000' classical CDs.
Unlike the poorly presented RCA/Slatkin set, which has also been reissued, the EMI set comes with excellent notes (updated for this reissue) by VW expert Michael Kennededy(the RCA set has none whatsoever). The individual CDs are intelligently coupled with nos 2 and 3 and 5 and 9 sharing a disc. This set represents a wonderfully perceptive and thoughtful traversal of the great landscapes of the Vaughan Williams symphonies.

Don't hesitate!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Adrian's Indian Summer, 14 Mar. 2012
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Dr. David Griffiths (Perth, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
Sir Adrian Boult, Ralph Vaughan Williams, EMI recordings from the late 1960s... need one say more? This is a wonderful set and an outstanding bargain. The only slight disappointment for me is the Sixth. I preferred Sir Adrian's earlier recording which I still have on a ten inch LP inherited from my father and among more recent recordings Andrew Davis's 1991 Teldec performance freezes my blood in a way that Boult's doesn't. I accept that there is a big element of subjective preference in this and others may well disagree. Overall, however, this is Sir Adrian Boult at his finest and the set is worth every penny of the remarkably modest asking price.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a pleasure, 10 April 2013
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
The CDs are in cardboard sleeves but I don't think that should be a worry and the box includes an atractive booklet about the symphonies. This is my first integral set of them but I have on LP Boult's recordings of 'A Sea Symphony' and 'A London Symphony'. I also have other VW CDs by others such as Haitink, Barbirolli, Handley, Bakels and Thompson. I bought this Boult set because I like both his EMI recordings of the 'Sea' and 'London' symphonies and wanted them on CD. I much prefer Sheila Armstrong's contribution at the close of the First to Felicity Lott's, the soprano on Haitink's excellent recording, but Lott doesn't move me as Armstrong does, who almost reduces me to tears. I realise that sometimes individual records are better than some others, for example, some critics think that Andrew Davies' Sixth is the very best, and buying what critics recommend is one approach to building a collection so long as you can afford it and are prepared to keep buying , because what are regarded as the best recordings constantly changes. This, of course, is where good box sets are very useful and this is a very good box set.

I haven't been at all disappointed by Boult's EMI set and yes, Sheila Armstrong's singing still almost reduces me to tears and not a single performance is less than very good. Overall,I prefer Hatink's'London' but Boult draws out the haunting beauty of the lavender seller in the second movement better than either Haitink or Barbirolli. If it was possible to wear out the CD of the Fifth and Ninth (I should add that I'm still reeling from the performances of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth symphonies at the Proms last year), I probably would have done so by now.

Wonderful set, fine sound and great value.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars you'll need more than this (version2), 28 Oct. 2012
By 
P. Jenkins (w sussex, england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
I suppose this is worth £12, but VW lovers will find more revealing interpretations of most of these symphonies elsewhere. For example:
No.2 is much less involving than Handley (with the London Phil) or Boult in his 1952 recording
No.6 is duller than in Boult's earlier recordings
No.8 sounds a more interesting work under Barbirolli
No.9 - Handley makes more sense of the symphony, and in his hands the finale's climaxes are truly apocalyptic

Furthermore, what were possibly the two best discs in the previous issue (which I DID buy) of these 60's recordings have disappeared. They contained great recordings of Job, Serenade to Music, The Lark Ascending (Hugh Bean's famous performances), and Norfolk Rhapsody, plus a very good Tallis Fantasy.

On the plus side, Nos 3,4,5 and 7 are very good

(FEB 2014 EDIT: Jonathan Swain on R3's Building a Library show has just chosen Handley's 9th as the best recording, as I suggested above. I'm surprised at the number of 5-star ratings of this second Boult cycle, when some of the performances sound like expert runthroughs when compared with his 1950s set)

POSTSCRIPT: Most of the pieces missing from this re-release (but not Boult's supeb Job) are available for less than a fiver on a CD listed by Amazon as Vaughan Williams: Orchestral Works
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vaughan Williams Symphonies, 1 Dec. 2013
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David Muntzer (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
A well packaged set of classic recordings, digitally re-mastered and of good quality. The card case and envelopes for each disc make it space efficient, good to take in the car etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vaughan Williams x 9, 30 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
what can i say. to get all 9 symphonies , conducted by Sir Adrian Bolt at such a great price was a find and extremely satisfying
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 25 Feb. 2015
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T. Jinkerson (Wokingham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
A great budget price collection.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For VW lovers, 4 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
A great buy, superb recordings and excellent value. Highly recommended for all lovers of the music of Ralph Vaughnan Williams.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, 25 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
Great Album
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) (Audio CD)
Brilliant!!
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Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers)
Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies (British Composers) by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Audio CD - 2011)
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