Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 349917 times)

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Offline Christo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3820 on: March 03, 2019, 11:17:38 AM »
I can't recommend this disc highly enough. Epithalamion is hardly known but I consider it one of Vaughan Williams's finest works and ideal late-night listening. Gentle, reflective, soulful and poignant music:
It is; and yet I prefer the even more 'exalted', 'mystical' original version, The Bridal day, that I listened to again a couple of days ago during my ski vacation in the Giant Mountains. I described if before as the missing link between Flos Campi and An Oxford Elegy.
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3821 on: March 03, 2019, 11:28:54 AM »
That is another Wilkinson recording from the Kingsway Hall (1953) produced by John Culshaw no less. I have the original LXT which is without a coupling at all. You mentioned the Boult 6th from 1949/1950 recently - the one which includes the original (alternative) Scherzo - how do you think that recording compares? It has been described (not by music critics!) as the most vital Boult 6th of them all. I have the composer's speech, I thought it was attached to the Everest 9th, but on checking I'm mistaken. I do have it somewhere.....
The Eclipse disc (LPO with VW in the studio) is very special to me. One day aged about 16/17 I drifted into WH Smith in the Earl's Court Road, which is where I then lived (not in WH Smith obviously although I did have a Saturday job there). My older (by seven years) brother was and is a keen classical music fan (Bruckner/Brahms) and I'd asked him about Vaughan Williams. He said that he was a bit like an English Copland (whose Third Symphony I'd already latched on to). On this basis I decided to buy VW Symphony No.6, LPO Boult which I found on the shelves. I was intrigued because the LP included 'A speech from the composer'. Basically, I never looked back and no disc has ever had such an impact on me. The earlier LSO recording (1949 I think) is terrific and, as you say, includes the original scherzo. However, for emotional as much as musical reasons my loyalty and attachment is to that LPO performance. The Everest recording of Symphony 9 included a speech by Boult in tribute to Vaughan Williams who had died overnight and who had been intending to attend the recording. Not all Everest versions included the speech 'To our American friends...' It's curious that the Ninth was not recorded by Decca and is possibly indicative of the short-lived reaction against Vaughan Williams's music in the late 1950s up until the revived interest at the time of the VW Centenary in 1972, which is such a vivid musical memory from my formative years. My first awareness of the great Andre Previn dates from this time, although I must have been aware of the Morecambe and Wise sketch in 1971.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 11:30:32 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3822 on: March 03, 2019, 11:32:01 AM »
It is; and yet I prefer the even more 'exalted', 'mystical' original version, The Bridal day, that I listened to again a couple of days ago during my ski vacation in the Giant Mountains. I described if before as the missing link between Flos Campi and An Oxford Elegy.
Yes, must listen to it again myself although its that EMI recording which I tend to drift back to.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3823 on: March 03, 2019, 01:12:13 PM »
Lately I am amazed by the 5th Symphony. I have always thought that work is about as interesting as watching cows grazing on a meadow so to speak. But repeated listening reveal a work that is expressively intense in its own terms. The dynamics rarely rise above a mezzo-forte and the harmony seems deceptively simple but the lyrical, modal. and soaring lines are like tidal waves. I especially enjoy this beautiful recording by Manze:



I am always amazed at the playing and versatility of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, a very underrated orchestra that is equally versatile in playing Beethoven, to Shostakovich and Vaughan Williams,
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 01:14:11 PM by PerfectWagnerite »

Offline relm1

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3824 on: March 03, 2019, 05:12:40 PM »
Lately I am amazed by the 5th Symphony. I have always thought that work is about as interesting as watching cows grazing on a meadow so to speak. But repeated listening reveal a work that is expressively intense in its own terms. The dynamics rarely rise above a mezzo-forte and the harmony seems deceptively simple but the lyrical, modal. and soaring lines are like tidal waves. I especially enjoy this beautiful recording by Manze:



I am always amazed at the playing and versatility of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, a very underrated orchestra that is equally versatile in playing Beethoven, to Shostakovitch and Vaughan Williams,

I haven't heard the Manze recording but consider the fifth a masterpiece.  One of the finest 20th century symphonies and very personal and unique.  My favorites are Previn and Boult and I find them so perfect that it leaves me with little desire to hear other interpretations as I always find them somewhat disappointing in comparison. 

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3825 on: March 03, 2019, 05:22:29 PM »
I haven't heard the Manze recording but consider the fifth a masterpiece.  One of the finest 20th century symphonies and very personal and unique.  My favorites are Previn and Boult and I find them so perfect that it leaves me with little desire to hear other interpretations as I always find them somewhat disappointing in comparison.
The youtube recording with Manze and the BBC Scottish Orchestra is VERY similar to the RLPO recording on cd but the RLPO plays with more color and character in my opinion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9YoEETzYsE


I think Manze is able to achieve great contrast in what is predominantly a very quiet work. He also keeps it moving which also helps. Too bad you almost never hear this work in the States as most audience members tend to prefer the big loud stuff like Mahler, Bruckner, Shostakovich, etc.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 05:32:15 PM by PerfectWagnerite »

Offline Irons

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3826 on: March 04, 2019, 01:31:08 AM »
The Eclipse disc (LPO with VW in the studio) is very special to me. One day aged about 16/17 I drifted into WH Smith in the Earl's Court Road, which is where I then lived (not in WH Smith obviously although I did have a Saturday job there). My older (by seven years) brother was and is a keen classical music fan (Bruckner/Brahms) and I'd asked him about Vaughan Williams. He said that he was a bit like an English Copland (whose Third Symphony I'd already latched on to). On this basis I decided to buy VW Symphony No.6, LPO Boult which I found on the shelves. I was intrigued because the LP included 'A speech from the composer'. Basically, I never looked back and no disc has ever had such an impact on me. The earlier LSO recording (1949 I think) is terrific and, as you say, includes the original scherzo. However, for emotional as much as musical reasons my loyalty and attachment is to that LPO performance. The Everest recording of Symphony 9 included a speech by Boult in tribute to Vaughan Williams who had died overnight and who had been intending to attend the recording. Not all Everest versions included the speech 'To our American friends...' It's curious that the Ninth was not recorded by Decca and is possibly indicative of the short-lived reaction against Vaughan Williams's music in the late 1950s up until the revived interest at the time of the VW Centenary in 1972, which is such a vivid musical memory from my formative years. My first awareness of the great Andre Previn dates from this time, although I must have been aware of the Morecambe and Wise sketch in 1971.

Our paths may have crossed! For 36 years I worked in the North End Road (Olympia end). Small world. Thanks for clearing up the speech query. I must have the American one attached to the Everest 9th LP but not listed on the back cover. I have never worked out how Everest came to record the 9th and not Decca. Your theory is as good as any. To confuse matters further, Decca recorded 1 - 7 in mono and the 8th in stereo.

Stravinsky recorded a speech for his recording of Rite. He goes on a bit and CBS chose to place it before his performance on record which in my view is a mistake.
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

Offline Irons

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3827 on: March 04, 2019, 02:05:34 AM »
I haven't heard the Manze recording but consider the fifth a masterpiece.  One of the finest 20th century symphonies and very personal and unique.  My favorites are Previn and Boult and I find them so perfect that it leaves me with little desire to hear other interpretations as I always find them somewhat disappointing in comparison.

Previn and Boult will always be the first port of call in all nine symphonies. I agree there is little point looking elsewhere, but at the same time I feel it a mistake to completely ignore Barbirolli, especially in the 5th. Not as the only version, but for the beautiful phrasing Sir John extracts from the Philharmonia this recording is worthy of a listen.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 02:12:47 AM by Irons »
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3828 on: March 04, 2019, 02:33:10 AM »
Barbirolli's RVW symphonies are more than just 'worthy of a listen'. He gave the premiere of the Sinfonia antartica though sonically his mono recording has been surpassed by various stereo versions. The 8th was dedicated to Barbirolli and he conducted it with great distinction His recordings of the 2nd and 5th symphonies are my all time favourites though Boult (in 2 and 5) and Previn (in 5) run him very close.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3829 on: March 04, 2019, 04:29:40 AM »
Our paths may have crossed! For 36 years I worked in the North End Road (Olympia end). Small world. Thanks for clearing up the speech query. I must have the American one attached to the Everest 9th LP but not listed on the back cover. I have never worked out how Everest came to record the 9th and not Decca. Your theory is as good as any. To confuse matters further, Decca recorded 1 - 7 in mono and the 8th in stereo.

Stravinsky recorded a speech for his recording of Rite. He goes on a bit and CBS chose to place it before his performance on record which in my view is a mistake.
I recall being constantly dragged off by my parents to help with the weekly food shop in Sainsbury's (I think) in the North End Road. Yes, small world indeed. I have a CD of early recordings of Bax's music which features a radio talk by the great man. I'm interested how these composers of dark, towering symphonies, like Bax and Shostakovich had quite high-pitched squeaky voices.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3830 on: March 04, 2019, 04:31:33 AM »
Previn and Boult will always be the first port of call in all nine symphonies. I agree there is little point looking elsewhere, but at the same time I feel it a mistake to completely ignore Barbirolli, especially in the 5th. Not as the only version, but for the beautiful phrasing Sir John extracts from the Philharmonia this recording is worthy of a listen.


This is my favourite version, preferable IMO to Boult and Previn, great as those recordings are.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3831 on: March 04, 2019, 04:32:50 AM »
Barbirolli's RVW symphonies are more than just 'worthy of a listen'. He gave the premiere of the Sinfonia antartica though sonically his mono recording has been surpassed by various stereo versions. The 8th was dedicated to Barbirolli and he conducted it with great distinction His recordings of the 2nd and 5th symphonies are my all time favourites though Boult (in 2 and 5) and Previn (in 5) run him very close.
His recording of Symphony 6 with the Bavarian RSO is also very good:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3832 on: March 04, 2019, 06:28:50 AM »
It was an error of judgment by RCA to squeeze the 6th onto a single LP side allowing the second side for the 8th.

Not an error of judgement in marketing terms - I lapped up the opportunity to acquire two new-to-me VW symphonies by a conductor I admired, on one LP ...

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3833 on: March 04, 2019, 01:39:10 PM »
Leppard (Indianapolis SO) has a very fine recording with an alternative narration of excerpts from Scott's diaries, which I think works better. Allegedly, Leppard discussed this idea with RVW personally.

The Leppard recording is excellent both technically and as a performance.  I like the movement superscriptions (even if they were never meant to be heard) and as such I like the idea behind the Leppard performance very much - the extended excerpts from the Scott diaries are well chosen and very well read.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3834 on: March 20, 2019, 09:55:05 AM »
I thought that this was an excellent performance of the Tallis Fantasia and am very pleased to have discovered it. It was recorded in the 'Grieghallen, Bergen' in 1963 and is therefore by far the most recent recording on the CD:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Ainsi la nuit

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3835 on: March 22, 2019, 04:07:37 PM »
I'm shamefully unfamiliar with Vaughan Williams' music. The nine symphonies remain a mystery to me - but that's going to change now! Starting with A Sea Symphony tonight (with Boult and the LPO) I'm going to go through them all in many different recordings. Let's see what happens!

Offline relm1

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3836 on: March 22, 2019, 04:48:08 PM »
I'm shamefully unfamiliar with Vaughan Williams' music. The nine symphonies remain a mystery to me - but that's going to change now! Starting with A Sea Symphony tonight (with Boult and the LPO) I'm going to go through them all in many different recordings. Let's see what happens!

What a great attitude you have!  I am curious to hear of your journey.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3837 on: March 22, 2019, 06:44:12 PM »
I'm shamefully unfamiliar with Vaughan Williams' music. The nine symphonies remain a mystery to me - but that's going to change now! Starting with A Sea Symphony tonight (with Boult and the LPO) I'm going to go through them all in many different recordings. Let's see what happens!

I hope you enjoy the journey. Vaughan Williams is a composer I’ve kind of cooled on right now, but I do still consider him the foremost English composer of not only his own time, but of all-time. I know this is a bold opinion, but I do truly feel there’s no other composer from England that has not only created a virtual sound-world unlike any other, but has touched many listeners’ hearts in the process. Sorry, but Elgar, Holst, or Britten have nothing on RVW. He was a master.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Irons

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3838 on: March 23, 2019, 12:58:45 AM »
I'm shamefully unfamiliar with Vaughan Williams' music. The nine symphonies remain a mystery to me - but that's going to change now! Starting with A Sea Symphony tonight (with Boult and the LPO) I'm going to go through them all in many different recordings. Let's see what happens!

Others may not agree but even allowing for the fact that "one" is a good place to start, I actually think it not with the RVW symphonies. My recommendation would be to set out with two symphonies which show both sides of him, the 5th and 6th.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 01:01:12 AM by Irons »
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3839 on: March 23, 2019, 07:48:41 AM »
What a great attitude you have!  I am curious to hear of your journey.
+1 although I'd probably start with No.5
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

 

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