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Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music, Mystical Songs / Best

Album Summary

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Serenade to music
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Mystical Songs (5) for baritone, chorus ad lib & orchestra (or organ)
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Fantasia on Christmas Carols
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Flos campi
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

'Performances like these don't come along very often; each one is an absolute winner, and with rich, atmospheric recording quality the satisfaction is of a very special quality' (CDReview)

'Profoundly moving' (Gramophone)

'Strongly recommended!' (Fanfare, USA)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
In 1938 Sir Henry Wood celebrated his 50 years as a professional conductor with a concert. Vaughan Williams composed a work for the occasion, the Serenade to Music, in which he set words by Shakespeare from Act 5 of The Merchant of Venice. Sixteen star vocalists of the age were gathered together for the performance and Vaughan Williams customised the vocal parts to show off the best qualities of the singers. The work turned out to be one of the composer's most sybaritic creations, turning each of its subsequent performances into a special event. Hyperion has gathered stars of our own age for this outstanding issue and Best has perceptively managed to give each their head, while melding them into a cohesive ensemble. A mellow, spacious recording has allowed the work to emerge on disc with a veracity never achieved before.

The coupled vocal pieces are given to equal effect and the disc is completed by Nobuko Imai's tautly poignant account of Flos campi, in which the disturbing tension between solo viola and wordless chorus heighten the cryptic nature of the work.



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Works Details

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Serenade to music
  • Performers: Arthur Davies (Tenor); Sarah Walker (Mezzo-soprano); Anne Dawson (Soprano); Linda Kitchen (Soprano); Jean Rigby (Mezzo Soprano); Diana Montague (Mezzo Soprano); Maciej Rakowski (Violin); Maldwyn Davies (Tenor); Elizabeth Connell (Soprano); Thomas Allen (Baritone); John Ainsley (Tenor); Amanda Roocroft (Soprano); John Connell (Bass); Gwynne Howell (Bass); Martyn Hill; Alan Opie
  • Conductor: Matthew Best
  • Ensemble: Corydon Singers
  • Notes: 02/18/1990-02/19/1990
  • Running Time: 13 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1938

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Mystical Songs (5) for baritone, chorus ad lib & orchestra (or organ)
  • Performer: Thomas Allen (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Matthew Best
  • Ensemble: English Chamber Orchestra
  • Notes: 02/18/1990-02/19/1990
  • Running Time: 19 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1911

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Fantasia on Christmas Carols
  • Performers: Maciej Rakowski (Violin); Thomas Allen (Baritone); Charles Tunnell (Cello)
  • Conductor: Matthew Best
  • Ensemble: English Chamber Orchestra
  • Notes: 02/18/1990-02/19/1990
  • Running Time: 12 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1912

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Flos campi
  • Performers: Maciej Rakowski (Violin); Nobuko Imai (Viola)
  • Conductor: Matthew Best
  • Ensemble: Corydon Singers
  • Notes: 02/18/1990-02/19/1990
  • Running Time: 22 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1925