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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Vaughan Williams Beautifully Played and Recorded
Naxos are to be congratulated for bringing us beautifully played performances of these early, and probably to most people, unknown works by Vaughan Williams in recorded sound which is of the highest quality. The members of the London Soloists Ensemble, plus two other players, are all musicians of the front rank and their playing in these works is captivating, to say the...
Published 6 months ago by Graham

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not compelling
People looking to go beyond the usual Vaughan Williams repertoire may be tempted by this, but may, like me, be a little disappointed. The bulk of this recording consists of early pieces that RVW himself did not rate highly. The exception is the beguiling little Romance for Viola and Piano, which is a real find, but hardly worth buying the CD for. The quintets are worth...
Published 4 months ago by Condoleezza Couscous


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Vaughan Williams Beautifully Played and Recorded, 21 Jun 2014
By 
Graham (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Piano Quintet [London Soloists Ensemble] [Naxos: 8.573191] (Audio CD)
Naxos are to be congratulated for bringing us beautifully played performances of these early, and probably to most people, unknown works by Vaughan Williams in recorded sound which is of the highest quality. The members of the London Soloists Ensemble, plus two other players, are all musicians of the front rank and their playing in these works is captivating, to say the least.

In the two quintets Vaughan Williams shows the unmistakable influence of Brahms including, in the work for violin, cello, clarinet, horn and piano, a clear, and probably conscious, reference to the slow movement of that composer's fourth symphony. Vaughan Williams was not, of course, alone in being influenced by the great German master. His teachers Parry and Stanford most certainly were, to say nothing of lesser men such as Somervell and Dyson, to name only two. These, perhaps, were never able to shake off that influence and that of other composers, but Vaughan Williams most certainly did and went on to develop his own highly individual style and musical language, becoming eventually one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. In the Piano Quintet one feels that individuality is beginning to emerge when in the second movement the main theme bears a striking resemblance to his lovely song Silent Noon, which was composed in the same year.

There is more of the mature Vaughan Williams in the Six Studies in English Folk Song, which were composed much later than the two quintets. These are not simply arrangements, but are subtle elaborations on each of the songs. They are most beautifully played here by Anthony Pike and John Lenehan.

This is a disc of beautiful and largely undemanding music, which will give much pleasure, as well as revealing the early development of this great composer.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely pastoral evocation, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Piano Quintet [London Soloists Ensemble] [Naxos: 8.573191] (Audio CD)
These are lesser-known works by Vaughan Williams, whose more popular works regularly find places at the top of Hall of Fame classics charts. They are early works but nevertheless clearly show the characteristics that we expect, particularly that very English pastoral quality, and are very beautiful. Here they are played beautifully too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adds more context to RVW oeuvre, 11 Aug 2014
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David Allsopp "philologus" (Leighton Buzzard, England) - See all my reviews
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A strange variety of new and old shows the distance between Vaughan Williams different periods. The playing is first class and I don't regret getting the album. I wouldn't give it up now either.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not compelling, 21 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Piano Quintet [London Soloists Ensemble] [Naxos: 8.573191] (Audio CD)
People looking to go beyond the usual Vaughan Williams repertoire may be tempted by this, but may, like me, be a little disappointed. The bulk of this recording consists of early pieces that RVW himself did not rate highly. The exception is the beguiling little Romance for Viola and Piano, which is a real find, but hardly worth buying the CD for. The quintets are worth hearing, and the whole is well performed, but they lack a distinctive voice, and for anyone interested in exploring his chamber works the CD of the Phantasy Quintet and the string quartets, also on Naxos, is a better choice.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cannot recommend it too highly, 14 Aug 2014
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Anything Musical (Fareham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Piano Quintet [London Soloists Ensemble] [Naxos: 8.573191] (Audio CD)
These chamber works are mostly un-acknowledged masterpeices of an idiom in which we do not often hear Vaughan Williams. I cannot recommend it too highly. Recording and performance standards are of the highest quality, and this disc would still be a bargain if it cost rather more than its modest £6. This is one of finest CDs ever to appear from the Naxos organisation. No lover of Englsih music will want to be without this.
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