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Vaughan Williams: Five Tudor Portraits, etc / Hickox, et al

Album Summary

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Tudor Portraits (5), choral suite for soloists, chorus & orchestra
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Variants (5) of 'Dives and Lazarus'
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"...[Vaughan Williams's] 'Five Tudor Portraits' find the composer at his most dazzlingly invnetive, the resourceful and witty writing fitting Skeleton's words like a glove...The coupling is a heart-warming, lucid and nicely flowing 'Dives and Lazarus,' with the LSO strings producing their most lustrous tone...Hickox's account of the main offering must now be the preferred version, and his CD certainly merits the investigation of Vaughan Williams fans everywhere." -Gramophone

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
First heard at the 1936 Norwich Festival, Vaughan Williams's Five Tudor Portraits find the composer at his most dazzlingly inventive, the resourceful and witty writing fitting Skelton's words like a glove. Moreover, an irresistible humanity illuminates the most ambitious of the settings, 'Jane Scroop (Her Lament for Philip Sparrow)', which contains music as compassionate as Vaughan Williams ever conceived. It's a life-enhancing creation and well deserving of this first-rate recording. Aided by disciplined orchestral support, the London Symphony Chorus launches itself in lusty fashion into the ale-soaked narrative of 'The Tunning of Elinor Rumming', though the resonant acoustic rather precludes ideal clarity of diction. Hickox is exuberant in this sparkling tableau, while Jean Rigby's characterful contribution should raise a smile. John Shirley-Quirk's is a touching presence in 'My Pretty Bess', and the mordant, black humour of 'Epitaph of John Jayberd of Diss' is effectively captured. Jane Scroop's lament in the fourth (and surely best) movement finds these fine artists at their most perceptive. How ravishingly Hickox moulds his strings in the hushed passage following 'It was proper and prest!' where the music movingly anticipates the poignancy of the closing section. Listen out, too, for the wealth of exquisitely observed woodwind detail in the enchanting funeral processional.

The concluding 'Jolly Rutterkin' goes with a swing, though Shirley-Quirk is a mite unsteady at the top of his range. The coupling is a heart-warming Dives andLazarus, with the LSO strings producing their most lustrous tone.



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Works Details

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Tudor Portraits (5), choral suite for soloists, chorus & orchestra
  • Performers: Robert Bourton (Bassoon); Michael Cox (Flute); Timothy Hugh (Cello); Jean Rigby; John Shirley-Quirk (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Chorus
  • Notes: All Saints Church, Tooting, London, England (04/22/1997-04/23/1997)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1935

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Variants (5) of 'Dives and Lazarus'
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: All Saints Church, Tooting, London, England (04/22/1997-04/23/1997)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1939