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Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos.3 & 4 CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Vernon Handley
  • Audio CD (1 Dec. 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000005GQ3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,946 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. A Pastoral Sym, No.3: First Movt: Molto Moderato
  2. A Pastoral Sym, No.3: Second Movt: Lento Moderato
  3. A Pastoral Sym, No.3: Third Movt: Moderato Pesante-Presto
  4. A Pastoral Sym, No.3: Fourth Movt: Lento-Moderato Maestoso
  5. Sym No.4 in f: First Movt: Allegro
  6. Sym No.4 in f: Second Movt: Andante Moderato
  7. Sym No.4 in f: Third Movt: Scherzo (Allegro Molto)
  8. Sym No.4 in f: Fourth Movt: Finale Con Epilogo Fugato (Allegro Molto)

Product Description

A Pastoral Symphony (Symphony No. 3); Symphony No. 4.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

This performance of the symphonies 3 and 4 can safely be ranked along with the finest currently available.

The third symphony, the Pastoral, is a generally peaceful work so the skill of the interpreters is to achieve interest without monotony. The composer was sometimes misleadingly known as a leading member of the British Cowpat School of music and dull performances of this work would add to that erroneous point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth however as the composer actually had a wartime scene in mind and the trumpet solo within the symphony is a poignant underlining of that situation. No worries of such a misconceived pastoral idyll in this performance as Handley was far too much of an experienced Vaughan William advocate to let any sense of English dairy farming blunt the effect of the work. (For a fuller description of the intended setting of this work please see comment 1 below kindly supplied by Mr. Kent)

The fourth symphony is a far cry from the third being frequently aggressive in tone and execution. In those respects it shares a similar territory to parts of the sixth symphony, sometimes considered to be the strongest of the set. The fourth symphony is a very fine work indeed and will reward those who are prepared to explore beyond the dissonance of the opening bars. It certainly has plenty of muscle and is not afraid to flex them. It must have come as rather a shock to early listeners expecting a more peaceful composition along the lines of the gentler but seriously intentioned third symphony as briefly described above or the composer's well known but unrelated folk song settings.

Handley and his Liverpudlians deliver fine performances of these two works and EMI's recording is well up to the task. However this pair of symphonies is now available at the cheaper price and with a sung cycle as a bonus so purchasers need to be aware of this when placing their orders.
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By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Oct. 2014
Vernon Handley’s performances with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra of Vaughan Williams’s third and fourth symphonies were both recorded in 1991. The third is almost a faultless performance in a very restrained interpretation, but that restraint is unleashed in the third movement where the ‘moderato pesante’ is robust and spirited. The fourth is another fine performance. My only complaint is that its sound quality is not equally superb.
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A good cd, but not great.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine but now reissued cheaper with added music 25 Nov. 2012
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
This performance of the symphonies 3 and 4 can safely be ranked along with the finest currently available.

The third symphony, the Pastoral, is a generally peaceful work so the skill of the interpreters is to achieve interest without monotony. The composer was sometimes misleadingly known as a leading member of the British Cowpat School of music and dull performances of this work would add to that erroneous point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth however as the composer actually had a wartime scene in mind and the trumpet solo within the symphony is a poignant underlining of that situation. No worries of such a misconceived pastoral idyll in this performance as Handley was far too much of an experienced Vaughan William advocate to let any sense of English dairy farming blunt the effect of the work.

The fourth symphony is a far cry from the third being frequently aggressive in tone and execution. In those respects it shares a similar territory to parts of the sixth symphony, sometimes considered to be the strongest of the set. The fourth symphony is a very fine work indeed and will reward those who are prepared to explore beyond the dissonance of the opening bars. It certainly has plenty of muscle and is not afraid to flex them. It must have come as rather a shock to early listeners expecting a more peaceful composition along the lines of the gentler but seriously intentioned third symphony as briefly described above or the composer's well known but unrelated folk song settings.

Handley and his Liverpudlians deliver fine performances of these two works and EMI's recording is well up to the task. However this pair of symphonies is now available at the cheaper price and with a sung cycle as a bonus so purchasers need to be aware of this when placing their orders.
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