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Vaughan Williams: The Complete Symphonies, The Lark Ascending, Tallis Fantasia, etc. Box set

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink
  • Audio CD (2 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00D56AD8K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,611 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Behold the sea itself (chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  2. Today a rude brief recitative (baritone & chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  3. Flaunt out, O sea, your separate flags of nations (soprano & chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  4. Token of all brave captains (chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  5. A pennant universal (baritone, soprano & chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  6. On the beach, at night, alone (baritone & semi-chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  7. A vast similitude interlocks all (baritone & chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  8. III. Scherzo: The Waves (Allegro brillante) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  9. O vast Rondure, swimming in Space (chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  10. Down from the gardens of Asia descending (chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  11. O we can wait no longer (baritone & soprano) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  12. O thou transcendent (soprano, baritone & chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  13. Greater than stars or suns (chorus, soprano & baritone) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  14. Sail forth (chorus, soprano & baritone) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  15. O my brave Soul (soprano, baritone & chorus) - Dame Felicity Lott/Jonathan Summers/London Philharmonic Choir/Richard Cooke/Cantilena/Lena Phillips/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink

Disc: 2

  1. I. Lento - Allegro risoluto (molto pesante) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Nolan/Bernard Haitink
  2. II. Lento - London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Nolan/Bernard Haitink
  3. III. Scherzo (Nocturne): Allegro vivace - London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Nolan/Bernard Haitink
  4. IV. Andante con moto - Maestoso alla marcia (quasi lento) - Allegro - Maestoso alla marcia (alla I) - Epilogue (Andante sostenuto) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Nolan/Bernard Haitink
  5. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis - London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Nolan/Bernard Haitink

Disc: 3

  1. I. Molto moderato - Amanda Roocroft/Paul Beniston/Nicholas Busch/Duncan Riddell/Norbert Blume/Robert Truman/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  2. II. Lento moderato - Amanda Roocroft/Paul Beniston/Nicholas Busch/Duncan Riddell/Norbert Blume/Robert Truman/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  3. III. Moderato pesante - Presto - Amanda Roocroft/Paul Beniston/Nicholas Busch/Duncan Riddell/Norbert Blume/Robert Truman/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  4. IV. Lento - Moderato maestoso - Amanda Roocroft/Paul Beniston/Nicholas Busch/Duncan Riddell/Norbert Blume/Robert Truman/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  5. I. Allegro - Bernard Haitink
  6. II. Andante moderato - Bernard Haitink
  7. III. Scherzo (Allegro molto) - - Bernard Haitink
  8. IV. Finale (Allegro molto) con epilogo fugato (Con anima) - Bernard Haitink

Disc: 4

  1. I. Preludio (Moderato - Allegro - Tempo I) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  2. II. Scherzo (Presto misterioso) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  3. III. Romanza (Lento) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  4. IV. Passacaglia (Moderato - Allegro - Tempo promo - Tempo del Preludio) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  5. Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1 in E minor - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  6. The Lark Ascending - Sarah Chang/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink

Disc: 5

  1. I. Allegro - - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  2. II. Moderato - - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  3. III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace) - - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  4. IV. Epilogue (Moderato) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  5. In the Fen Country - Symphonic Impression - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  6. I. On Wenlock Edge - Ian Bostridge/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  7. II. From far, from eve and morning - Ian Bostridge/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  8. III. Is my team ploughing? - Ian Bostridge/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  9. IV. Oh, when I was in love with you - Ian Bostridge/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  10. V. Bredon Hill - Ian Bostridge/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  11. VI. Clun - Ian Bostridge/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink

Disc: 6

  1. I. Prelude (Allegro maestoso) - Sheila Armstrong/London Philharmonic Choir/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  2. II. Scherzo (Moderato) - Sheila Armstrong/London Philharmonic Choir/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  3. III. Landscape (Lento) - Sheila Armstrong/London Philharmonic Choir/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  4. IV. Intermezzo (Andante sostenuto) - Sheila Armstrong/London Philharmonic Choir/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  5. V. Epilogue (Alla marcia) - Sheila Armstrong/London Philharmonic Choir/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink

Disc: 7

  1. I. Fantasia (Variazioni senza Tema) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  2. II. Scherzo alla marcia per stromenti a fiato - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  3. III. Cavatina per stromenti ad arco - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  4. IV. Toccata - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
  5. I. Moderato maestoso - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ann McAneney/Bernard Haitink
  6. II. Andante sostenuto - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ann McAneney/Bernard Haitink
  7. III. Scherzo (Allegro pesante) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ann McAneney/Bernard Haitink
  8. IV. Andante tranquillo - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ann McAneney/Bernard Haitink

Customer Reviews

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This maybe a re-issue, but it is very nicely presented and it's good to have all this wonderful material from the same combination of Bernard Haitink and the London Philharmonic, gathered together. For the price of a couple of new CDs you get seven, packed full of the very best of RVW in wonderful sound quality and all good performances. There is not a dud disc in the whole package.

In many ways this has to be the best recommendation for a complete symphonic package and it is good to hear the way these works developed as responses to the turbulent times in which they were created. The first and second symphonies stand very much as artistic statements in their own right - but 3,4,5 and 6 benefit immensely from being heard together, as RVW developed a unique style that is instantly recognisable, but which can also surprise you with its unexpected bursts of intense emotion and these performances really capture that intensity.

Sinfonia Antartica stands alone again, but this is an extraordinary performance - defintely my favourite version. The last two symphonies are again unusual and unexpected - having some of the characteristics of earlier works, but with unusual structures and instrumentation. It's nice to have the other symphonic works and these are all popular and well-known, enhancing the whole package.

I have heard other versions and particularly like Bryden Thomson's cycle on Chandos which feels very different - but this one is certainly up there with the very best in terms of sound quality and performances - highly recommended!
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EMI Classics swallowed up by Warner and the Haitink cycle of RVW symphonies is reissued in mud brown rather than the old mustard and spinach monstrosity. Pick your poison. Ugly packaging aside, the qualities of the Dutchman's RVW interpretations remain undiminished and clear for all to hear. Mostly magnificient, one should conclude.

An all digital offering, started in the late '80s and concluded roundabout the millennium. Why not start at the end, with sublime readings of the tintinnabulating 8th and the visionary Hardyesque 9th. A little further back and Haitink is fully attuned to the offbeat appeal of Antarctica and the apocalyptic 6th Symphony; the 5th is given a more earthy and grieving account than the usual rarified soundings, and like the 6th the 4th is a wonderfully potent impression of Beethoven in the world of Shostakovich. Haitink coaxes all the substance out of RVW's Pastoral inspiration and gives London its multinational head (No.2). The Sea Symphony remains my least favourite but no-one has ever disputed the qualities of this recording.

Alongside the biggies, enjoy ace renditions of Norfolk Rhapsody, Wenlock Edge and wholly professional takes of Tallis and Lark Ascending. Amongst the digital cycles you could not do better and the analogue generation scarcely had more authority. Wholly recommendable.
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I am the president of the All England Vaughan Williams Is A Greater Composer Than Mozart Society.
The Society has only two articles of faith.
1) Vaughan Williams is a greater composer than Mozart.
2) Mozart is not as great a composer as Vaughan Williams.
Membership of the society is not large (one), but we make up for this by KNOWING THAT WE ARE RIGHT.
David Hurwitz wanted to become a member, but the society as a whole (me) wouldn't let him join.
The reason we wouldn't let him join was his review of Bernard Haitink's complete survey of the greatest symphonic cycle outside of Beethoven's.
Hurwitz accuses this music making of being "unidiomatic". I have no idea which idiom it is that Haitink and the LPO are beyond the bounds of but I can tell you this...
I have owned this set for years in its previous yellow box incarnation. I also own Boult's stereo cycle, Previn's LSO cycle and several other recordings variously by Barbirolli, Hickox, Berglund, Handley, Andrew Davies and others.
I can only think of two or three other performances of ANY of these noble works which outshine those in this box. They would be Hickox (Virgin) in the Sea Symphony - he has more spring in his step which helps at times, Previn (LSO - RCA) in the London (amazing swagger in the first movement) and Barbirolli (EMI) in the fifth - who is simply unmissable, heartfelt, heart-breaking and tender. But even in these three symphonies Haitink is very fine. I certainly cannot imagine the big, grand sections of the Sea Symphony bigger or grander. The Second is noble powerful, the Fifth superbly paced and - well - just beautiful. Numbers 3,4,6,7,8,9 receive sublime performances - the Pastoral in particular is the most beautiful and the finest version I know, very moving.
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A well played and recorded set.Bernard Haitink seems to have a great understanding of these works.I did have the Slatkin recordings of the complete symphonies,with the philharmonia orchestra on RCA,but the Haitink recordings are far better.Well worth the money,so do try them if you like Vaughan Williams,I'm sure you will be pleased with them.
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I never liked Vaughan Williams much but took a chance on this very cheap boxed set and like the more European approach of Haitink. Sentimentality but not sentiment is absent and they are all beutifully played and recorded. I shall take a while to listen to them all properly but at least I find I want to hear them all, which is something. Even the awful modality seems more acceptable here. Pleasant listening but I shall probably still need to cleanse my palette with Sibelius!
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