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Vaughan Williams: Piano Quintet in D major; Studies (6) in English Folk Song; Romance for Viola & Piano / London Soloists Ens.

Album Summary

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Quintet for violin, viola, cello, double bass & piano in C minor
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Romance for viola & piano
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Quintet for clarinet, horn, violin, cello & piano in D major
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Studies (6) in English Folksong
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

These two Quintets from Vaughan Williams' formative years reveal a young creative artist attempting to establish his own personal musical language.

The Times, 3rd May 2014
They are lovely - romantic, melodious, wistful, beautifully crafted - even though they sound more like Elgar or Brahms than VW, with scarcely a modal harmony in an hour of music. Gently beguiling performances from top-notch players.

The Telegraph, 16th May 2014
As the London Soloists Ensemble reveals in these excellent, beautifully modulated performances, the music deserves to be heard...The disc gives an intriguing picture of the evolution of his musical vocabulary.

BBC Music Magazine, July 2014
The performances are exceptional. In a collective and individual display of how to deliver chamber music at world-class level, Sarah-Jane Bradley's viola-playing - ear-mesmerising, yet never obtrusive - shines even in this company.

MusicWeb International, 16th June 2014
One is able to enjoy this attractive and appealing music in its own right as well as marvelling at how, in just a few short years, Vaughan Williams went from being rather derivative to wholly personal...The London Soloists Ensemble give an excitingly powerful and dramatic account of [the Piano Quintet].

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex, England (07/02/2013-07/04/2013).



Reviews

Early werks get a second chance
Ralph Vaughan Williams withdrew many of the works he wrote before 1907. Based on this release, he was too modest. In this collection of early chamber music performed by the London Soloists Ensemble, one can tell RVW's compositional voice isn't fully formed, but there's a simple beauty in them, nevertheless.

The disc opens with the 1903 piano quintet in C minor. Although RVW would withdraw it a few years later, at the time he considered it one of his most important compositions.

There's a dramatic sweep and expansiveness that keeps things moving along. Sometimes it sounds as if Vaughan Williams is trying a little too hard to top Brahms (or perhaps Schubert -- the works shares the same instrumentation as the "Trout" quintet). On the whole, though, it's a solid work, looking forward to RVW's pre-war masterpieces.

The 1898 Quintet in D major for violin, cello clarinet, horn and piano is a thrilling, late romantic work. RVW employs a free-wheeling style, letting the evocative melodies unfold as they will. But while the work may follow Germanic romantic tradition, there's still a certain Englishness to the music. I heard it in the harmonic progressions that sometimes employ the false relationships of English renaissance music.

It was only after his death that RVW's "Romance for Viola and Piano was discovered. This short work features a sinuously weaving melody sounds like it could have been an early sketch for "The Lark Ascending" (although it wasn't). Violist Sarah-Jane Bradley gives an emotional reading to this welcome rediscovery.

"Six Studies in English Folk Song" (1926) has seen many incarnations. Originally written for cello and piano, Vaughan Williams arranged it for other instruments, including the clarinet version heard here. Anthony Pike players these small tunes in a quiet, straight-forward fashion in an utterly charming performance.

Of course this is a must-have for Vaughan Williams completists. But these (mostly) suppressed works are of sufficient quality that most anyone who enjoys chamber music would appreciate the music on this album.

Submitted on 05/15/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Quintet for violin, viola, cello, double bass & piano in C minor
  • Performer: Chris West (Double Bass)
  • Ensemble: London Soloists Ensemble
  • Notes: Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex, England (07/02/2013-07/04/2013)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1903

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Romance for viola & piano
  • Performers: Sarah-Jane Bradley (Viola); John Lenehan (Piano)
  • Ensemble: London Soloists Ensemble
  • Notes: Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex, England (07/02/2013-07/04/2013)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Quintet for clarinet, horn, violin, cello & piano in D major
  • Performer: Tim Jackson (French Horn)
  • Ensemble: London Soloists Ensemble
  • Notes: Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex, England (07/02/2013-07/04/2013)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1898

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Studies (6) in English Folksong
  • Performers: John Lenehan (Piano); Anthony Pike (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex, England (07/02/2013-07/04/2013)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1926