Author Topic: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.  (Read 8686 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #80 on: February 08, 2017, 07:28:11 AM »
Time to change up my list a bit:

Symphony No. 6
Flos Campi
Dona nobis pacem
5 Mystical Songs
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 11654
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #81 on: February 11, 2017, 02:12:40 AM »
Time to change up my list a bit:

Symphony No. 6
Flos Campi
Dona nobis pacem
5 Mystical Songs
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

I would very much agree but might substitute Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus for the Tallis Fantasia and might have to include the Pilgrim's Progress and the Violin Sonata somewhere.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #82 on: February 11, 2017, 06:48:16 AM »
I would very much agree but might substitute Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus for the Tallis Fantasia and might have to include the Pilgrim's Progress and the Violin Sonata somewhere.

The thing about creating a RVW list, Jeffrey, is nothing is really set in stone, so there's no doubt these could change yet again and soon. :) I do love 5 Variants on 'Dives and Lazarus', although I might choose his Concerto Grosso or Partita (which coincidently I have chosen before), but the majestic quality of the Tallis Fantasia has more recently put me under it's spell.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Dee Sharp

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 220
  • Location: USA
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #83 on: February 11, 2017, 08:52:41 AM »
Symphony No. 3
Serenade to Music
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Lark Ascending
Flos Campi

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #84 on: February 11, 2017, 09:00:10 AM »
Symphony No. 3
Serenade to Music
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Lark Ascending
Flos Campi

A fine list full of ethereal beauty.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #85 on: February 11, 2017, 08:56:28 PM »
Another little gem in RVW's oeuvre that seems to go unnoticed is Two Hymn-Tune Preludes, which is absolutely gorgeous in it's simplicity and directness.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Christo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3603
  • ... an opening of those magic casements ...
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #86 on: February 11, 2017, 11:31:14 PM »
Another little gem in RVW's oeuvre that seems to go unnoticed is Two Hymn-Tune Preludes, which is absolutely gorgeous in it's simplicity and directness.
Even more so in the hands of Bryden Thomson (one of the many reasons his cycle for Chandos proved such a revelation when they appeared one by one in the 1980s):
… 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

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 11654
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #87 on: February 12, 2017, 04:25:15 AM »
Another little gem in RVW's oeuvre that seems to go unnoticed is Two Hymn-Tune Preludes, which is absolutely gorgeous in it's simplicity and directness.
One of the Three Welsh Hymn Tune Preludes (Rhosymedre) was played at my wedding.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #88 on: February 12, 2017, 07:09:58 AM »
Even more so in the hands of Bryden Thomson (one of the many reasons his cycle for Chandos proved such a revelation when they appeared one by one in the 1980s):


Indeed, Johan. Thomson's cycle is still one of my favorites. Thomson had much command on the podium and the stunning sound from Chandos made this cycle a win/win for me. I wish I had bought his cycle individually looking back, but I own the set of symphonies and the companion set of concerti and other orchestral works. Hickox also recorded a gorgeous performance of Two Hymn-Tune Preludes.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #89 on: February 12, 2017, 07:10:41 AM »
One of the Three Welsh Hymn Tune Preludes (Rhosymedre) was played at my wedding.

Beautiful, Jeffrey. I love that work as well, which is subtitled "Household Music", correct?
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Ghost Sonata

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1007
  • "Because I could not stop for Death..."
  • Location: USA
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #90 on: February 12, 2017, 07:29:50 AM »
There's still VW that has not been recorded yet.  Maybe it's the best yet...

1.) Serenade to Music (to think that VW himself was at Cornell University and heard this work performed only 100 miles or so from where I used to live...too young to appreciate it anyway :'()
2.) Symphony #5
3.) Oboe Concerto
4.) Flos Campi
5.) Phantasy Quintet

With the Sea Symphony as my lagniappe.  Hey John, what think ye of Hickox's 5th?
I like Conor71's "I  like old Music" signature.

Offline Christo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3603
  • ... an opening of those magic casements ...
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #91 on: February 12, 2017, 07:46:54 AM »
One of the Three Welsh Hymn Tune Preludes (Rhosymedre) was played at my wedding.
:-[ I had it played at my wedding too.  :D
… 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

Offline Christo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3603
  • ... an opening of those magic casements ...
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #92 on: February 12, 2017, 07:53:08 AM »
Beautiful, Jeffrey. I love that work as well, which is subtitled "Household Music", correct?

You're referring at Household Music: Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes for string quartet or other instruments (1941): 1. Fantasia, Crug-y-bar; 2. Scherzo, St. Denio; 3. Variation, Aberystwyth - which I prefer to hear in its version for string orchestra, recorded by Hickox for Chandos:


Rhosymedre, at the other hand, is one of the Three Preludes founded on Welsh Hymn Tunes (1920) for organ: 1. Bryn Calfaria, 2. Rhosymedre, 3. Hyfrydol; the two latter pieces also arranged for orchestra by Arnold Foster.
… 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

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #93 on: February 12, 2017, 07:54:50 AM »
There's still VW that has not been recorded yet.  Maybe it's the best yet...

1.) Serenade to Music (to think that VW himself was at Cornell University and heard this work performed only 100 miles or so from where I used to live...too young to appreciate it anyway :'()
2.) Symphony #5
3.) Oboe Concerto
4.) Flos Campi
5.) Phantasy Quintet

With the Sea Symphony as my lagniappe.  Hey John, what think ye of Hickox's 5th?

I don't like Hickox's 5th --- it feels somehow rushed and he somehow feels detached from the musical proceedings. It's been several years since I've heard but those were my initial impressions. Maybe my opinion has changed? I still believe Previn and Thomson have the best Fifths, but there have been other great performances. Now, the question thrown back at you: what do you think of Hickox's 5th?

P.S. Great list!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 07:57:38 AM by Mirror Image »
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #94 on: February 12, 2017, 07:57:16 AM »
You're referring at Household Music: Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes for string quartet or other instruments (1941): 1. Fantasia, Crug-y-bar; 2. Scherzo, St. Denio; 3. Variation, Aberystwyth - which I prefer to hear in its version for string orchestra, recorded by Hickox for Chandos:


Rhosymedre, at the other hand, is one of the Three Preludes founded on Welsh Hymn Tunes (1920) for organ: 1. Bryn Calfaria, 2. Rhosymedre, 3. Hyfrydol; the two latter pieces also arranged for orchestra by Arnold Foster.

Ah okay, sorry for the mix-up, which is easy to do given both titles have the words: three, preludes, Welsh, hymn, and tunes in their titles. ::) :)
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Christo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3603
  • ... an opening of those magic casements ...
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #95 on: February 12, 2017, 08:16:09 AM »
Ah okay, sorry for the mix-up, which is easy to do given both titles have the words: three, preludes, Welsh, hymn, and tunes in their titles. ::) :)

Let's add the 1955 Prelude on Three Welsh Hymn Tunes for brass band (1. Ebenezer; 2. Calfaria; 3. Hyfrydol) to the confusion then.  ;)
… 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

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #96 on: February 12, 2017, 08:19:34 AM »
Let's add the 1955 Prelude on Three Welsh Hymn Tunes for brass band (1. Ebenezer; 2. Calfaria; 3. Hyfrydol) to the confusion then.  ;)

;D
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Ghost Sonata

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1007
  • "Because I could not stop for Death..."
  • Location: USA
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #97 on: February 13, 2017, 05:46:59 AM »
I don't like Hickox's 5th --- it feels somehow rushed and he somehow feels detached from the musical proceedings. It's been several years since I've heard but those were my initial impressions. Maybe my opinion has changed? I still believe Previn and Thomson have the best Fifths, but there have been other great performances. Now, the question thrown back at you: what do you think of Hickox's 5th?...


I like it rather better than you seem to, John, but it is not a fave.  Chandos engineering excels brilliantly on that disc, but the reason I cherish it is for the other works on it. 
I like Conor71's "I  like old Music" signature.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44277
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #98 on: February 13, 2017, 07:22:13 AM »
I like it rather better than you seem to, John, but it is not a fave.  Chandos engineering excels brilliantly on that disc, but the reason I cherish it is for the other works on it.

Yeah, I listened to Hickox's 5th yesterday and I wasn't really taken with the performance. A great performance, IMHO, is one that pulls you with it and you're left hanging on every measure. Needless to say, I didn't feel that way with the Hickox. The sound quality is excellent without a doubt, though.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Ghost Sonata

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1007
  • "Because I could not stop for Death..."
  • Location: USA
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #99 on: February 13, 2017, 10:29:53 AM »
Yeah, I listened to Hickox's 5th yesterday and I wasn't really taken with the performance. A great performance, IMHO, is one that pulls you with it and you're left hanging on every measure. Needless to say, I didn't feel that way with the Hickox. The sound quality is excellent without a doubt, though.

I listened to it again as well and (your influence, no doubt!  :) ;D :laugh:) like it less than I did before.  It seems terribly self-conscious, deliberate, even forced in its dramatic effects. I was, yet again, thrilled with that Chandos sound, which - usually - I love anyway.  Moving to the other works on that disc and I think I may as well make it a VW day. 
I like Conor71's "I  like old Music" signature.