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Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Nine Symphonies / Rozhdestvensky, USSR State SO

Album Summary

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 1 "A sea symphony"
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : A London Symphony (Symphony no 2) (Original 1913 version)
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 3 for soprano or tenor & orchestra ("Pastoral")
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 4 in F minor
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 5 in D major
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 6 in E minor
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 7 for soprano, small female chorus & orchestra with narrator ad lib ("Sinfonia Antarti
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 8 in D minor
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 9 in E minor
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Firma Melodiya presents a complete set of Ralph Vaughan Williams's symphonies conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky. The name of this English composer is not yet well known to Russian listeners. Meanwhile, Vaughan Williams was one of the largest figures of the so-called English Musical Renaissance, a movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A composer, conductor, organist, folklore student and publicist, Vaughan Williams today is mostly known for his large-scale symphonic works. The English composer's nine symphonies sequentially reflect the evolution of his creative style (the first one was composed in 1903, and the last one not long before he died in 1958). Each of them seems to be a continuation, a development of the previous one (a sort of "chapters of one novel"), but neither repeats any other one in structure, composition, concept or music. Some of the symphonies are closely connected with national poetry (Walt Whitman), episodes from the English history or pictures of native countryside. Absorbing a wide range of sources realized in Vaughan Williams's style - from old folk songs and religious hymns to musical impressionism and jazz - his symphonies are notable for expressive figurativeness and melodic resourcefulness, and open to any keen ear. The recordings of Vaughan Williams's symphonies performed by the prominent conductor and recognized master of interpretation of 20th century music were made at concerts in 1988 - 1989 in Leningrad.

MusicWeb International, 12th June 2014
This must count as one of the more surprising issues to have come my way - though a very welcome surprise...I never expected to hear Russian forces performing all nine works...it's a cycle that lovers of Vaughan Williams - and all admirers of Gennady Rozhdestvensky - should try to hear. I'm delighted to have heard it and even more delighted that these splendid symphonies were so effectively championed by Russian musicians in their own country.

David Smith, Presto Classical, June 2014
Perhaps a rather unlikely set - an illustration that not all the convincing accounts of Vaughan Williams are necessarily by English or British musicians, and indeed the Russians here make their case engagingly. Definitely worth a listen for a different perspective on Vaughan Williams' symphonic output.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Grand Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic Society.



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Works Details

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 1 "A sea symphony"
  • Performers: Tatiana Smolaykova; Boris Vasiliev
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Ensemble: State Symphony Orchestra of the USSR
  • Running Time: 65 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1903-1909

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : A London Symphony (Symphony no 2) (Original 1913 version)
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Running Time: 42 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1911-1913

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 3 for soprano or tenor & orchestra ("Pastoral")
  • Performer: Elena Def-donskaya (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Running Time: 37 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1921

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 4 in F minor
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Running Time: 35 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1931-1934

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 5 in D major
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Running Time: 40 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1938-1943

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 6 in E minor
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Running Time: 38 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1944-1947

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 7 for soprano, small female chorus & orchestra with narrator ad lib ("Sinfonia Antarti
  • Performer: Elena Def-donskaya (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Notes: Composition written: 1949-52.
  • Running Time: 37 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1949-1952

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 8 in D minor
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Running Time: 27 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1953-1956

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Symphony no 9 in E minor
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Running Time: 37 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1956-1958