Author Topic: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.  (Read 6201 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ghost Sonata

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1007
  • "Because I could not stop for Death..."
  • Location: USA
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #100 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: 41108
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells during Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #101 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.
"Music 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 #102 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.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 41108
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells during Magic Nights
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #103 on: February 13, 2017, 10:56:43 AM »
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'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that about the Hickox. ;) Previn with the LSO is a performance of the 5th that grips me from the onset. RVW must be performed with a driven purpose in order for me to be fully convinced even it's in the more atmospheric works like A Pastoral Symphony or Flos Campi. These kind of works especially need a helping hand or in this case, a baton. :) A lot of the newer performances of RVW seem to be lacking a certain magic like, for example, Andrew Davis' newest recording on Chandos of Job and Symphony No. 9, which didn't displace any of my long-standing favorites.
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline SymphonicAddict

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 432
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #104 on: August 11, 2017, 10:16:19 PM »
A first listen to Dona nobis pacem. Viciously beautiful and epic

Dona nobis pacem
Symphony No. 2 (revised versión [unpopular opinion?])
Concerto grosso
Serenade to music (16 vocal soloists and orchestra)
Job

Some other fantastic alternatives:
-Symphony No. 4
-Phantasy String Quintet
-Towards the Unknown Region
-Flos campi
-Five variants of Dives and Lazarus

Online Christo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3063
  • ... an opening of those magic casements ...
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #105 on: August 12, 2017, 01:34:56 AM »
A first listen to Dona nobis pacem. Viciously beautiful and epic

Dona nobis pacem
Symphony No. 2 (revised versión [unpopular opinion?])
Concerto grosso
Serenade to music (16 vocal soloists and orchestra)
Job

Some other fantastic alternatives:
-Symphony No. 4
-Phantasy String Quintet
-Towards the Unknown Region
-Flos campi
-Five variants of Dives and Lazarus

Very interesting. I love many composers, but RVW holds a special place ever since I came under his spell when I was 14, 15. Of the ten compositions you mention, only the last two - Flos Campi and the Five Variants - would be among my absolute favourites, though, of course, love them all. ;) To illustrate these minors differences a bit:
- the London Symphony is for me not in the same league as Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; in short, not among my favourite symphonies, because I find the first and fourth movement less convincing (but love the two middle ones). As Vandermolen, I prefer the original, 1914 version, because that compensates for this structural weakness with an abundancy of colour. You are right.  :)
- As to Dona Nobis Pacem: I love it, and was lucky enough to hear it performed three times; and live it works best IMHO. Yet, RVW himself preferred Sancta Civitas (1925), as I do, and I also have a week spot for The Sons of Light (1950) and especially for the naive Christmas oratorio Hodie (1954) (all of his Christmas cantatas/similar are terrific, from the ballet On Christmas Night (1926) to his moving final work, the nativity play The First Nowell (1958).)
- Unlike Vandermolen, who will no doubt respond with appropriate horror  ;), I totally agree with you about the ethereal beauty of the Serenade to Music (1938). It's worth reminding that the poet held the same opinion:

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved by this sweet serenade,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.  >: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

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44422
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #106 on: August 12, 2017, 02:44:34 AM »
- the London Symphony is for me not in the same league as Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; in short, not among my favourite symphonies, because I find the first and fourth movement less convincing (but love the two middle ones). As Vandermolen, I prefer the original, 1914 version, because that compensates for this structural weakness with an abundancy of colour. You are right.  :)

Well, it does not necessarily mean that his is the unpopular opinion; only that at present, there are two votes against his one  0:)


(I do not as yet have a preference for one over the other.)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline SymphonicAddict

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 432
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #107 on: August 12, 2017, 04:30:02 PM »
Very interesting. I love many composers, but RVW holds a special place ever since I came under his spell when I was 14, 15. Of the ten compositions you mention, only the last two - Flos Campi and the Five Variants - would be among my absolute favourites, though, of course, love them all. ;) To illustrate these minors differences a bit:
- the London Symphony is for me not in the same league as Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; in short, not among my favourite symphonies, because I find the first and fourth movement less convincing (but love the two middle ones). As Vandermolen, I prefer the original, 1914 version, because that compensates for this structural weakness with an abundancy of colour. You are right.  :)
- As to Dona Nobis Pacem: I love it, and was lucky enough to hear it performed three times; and live it works best IMHO. Yet, RVW himself preferred Sancta Civitas (1925), as I do, and I also have a week spot for The Sons of Light (1950) and especially for the naive Christmas oratorio Hodie (1954) (all of his Christmas cantatas/similar are terrific, from the ballet On Christmas Night (1926) to his moving final work, the nativity play The First Nowell (1958).)
- Unlike Vandermolen, who will no doubt respond with appropriate horror  ;), I totally agree with you about the ethereal beauty of the Serenade to Music (1938). It's worth reminding that the poet held the same opinion:

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved by this sweet serenade,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.  >:D

Great illustration. What I have with the Nr. 2 is very emotional. It was the first work I heard of VW, since that moment I fell in love with his music, completely hooked, and I had to collect his other 8 magnific examples of the form. That situation happens with other composers and works, there are emotions in between. I think I haven't listened to something I didn't like of his vast output.

On the other hand, you are very lucky having attended several performances of Dona nobis pacem:)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 04:32:39 PM by SymphonicAddict »

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44422
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #108 on: August 12, 2017, 04:30:54 PM »
On the other hand, you are very lucky having attended several performances of Dona nobis pacem:)

No kidding!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline SymphonicAddict

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 432
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #109 on: August 12, 2017, 04:41:57 PM »
No kidding!

I'm somewhat jealous in a good way  :P

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10779
  • Monkey Greg.
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #110 on: August 13, 2017, 06:07:18 AM »
Sea Symphony
Serenade to Music
Flos Campi
Phantasy Quintet
The Lark Ascending

Going to have to replace one with RVW's 5th Symphony, been listening to it a lot the past year. And for a bonus, the Nashville Symphony is performing the 5th in early 2018, so I can add it to my list of RVW pieces I've seen live!

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9325
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #111 on: August 13, 2017, 06:53:35 AM »
Can't believe that Christo's still rambling on about 'Serenade to Music'  :o 8) ??? ;)

Today's favourites are or remain:

Symphony 6 (really look forward to hearing the Elder recording)
Symphony 9 (Stokowski)
Job (Boult EMI or either Decca version)
Dona Nobis Pacem (liked that old Ormandy recording)
Pilgrim's Progress

Alternative Five

Violin Sonata
Fantasia on the Old 104th
Violin Sonata
A London Symphony (1913 version or 1920 version - not 1936 version which IMHO does not include the best bit at the Epilogue)
Symphony 5 (Barbirolli/EMI).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 484
  • Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
  • Location: United States
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #112 on: September 12, 2017, 03:40:46 PM »
At the current moment, I'd have to go with:

A London Symphony (no. 2)
Symphony no. 6
Symphony no. 9
Job
Phantasy Quintet

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9325
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #113 on: September 13, 2017, 12:49:56 AM »
At the current moment, I'd have to go with:

A London Symphony (no. 2)
Symphony no. 6
Symphony no. 9
Job
Phantasy Quintet
Great choices with which I largely agree. I would opt for the 1913 or 1920 version of A London Symphony (a new version of the 1920 is coming out on Hyperion soon). I can no longer listen to the 1936 version without being acutely aware of the missing section at the end which partially ruins it for me.
I'd also opt for the late, craggy Violin Sonata or SQ No.2 rather than the eloquent Phantasy Quintet. Totally agree on the symphonic choices.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3460
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #114 on: September 13, 2017, 05:12:41 AM »
The Phantasy Quintet has been mentioned repeatedly. I know I have it, but when I went through the big VW box on EMI it didn't catch my attention (I see it's buried on disc 13). Time for a reassessment !

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9325
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #115 on: September 13, 2017, 05:39:41 AM »
The Phantasy Quintet has been mentioned repeatedly. I know I have it, but when I went through the big VW box on EMI it didn't catch my attention (I see it's buried on disc 13). Time for a reassessment !
It's very good Andre.
 :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Maestro267

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 977
  • Location: Wales
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #116 on: September 13, 2017, 06:18:17 AM »
Thankfully I read the OP before posting this. Only one symphony allowed. Righty then...

Sinfonia antartica
Tallis Fantasia
Dona nobis pacem
Job
Piano Concerto

Offline kyjo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 484
  • Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
  • Location: United States
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #117 on: September 13, 2017, 06:40:00 AM »
Thankfully I read the OP before posting this. Only one symphony allowed. Righty then...

Oops...I completely missed that ::) Sorry, Jeffrey ;D

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3460
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #118 on: September 13, 2017, 09:16:43 AM »
- A Sea Symphony
- The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains
- Toward the Unknown Region
- Job
- The Lark Ascending

Also, the Tallis Fantasia of course (man, just 5 works: this is cruel !  >:D )

I haven't changed my list one bit, but submit the following as very acceptable substitutes:

- Symphony no 6
- Five Mystical Songs
- Five Tudor Portraits
- Hodie
- Serenade to Music

And Flos Campi of course !

Offline SymphonicAddict

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 432
Re: Top 5 Vaughan Williams works.
« Reply #119 on: September 13, 2017, 08:19:31 PM »
Thankfully I read the OP before posting this. Only one symphony allowed. Righty then...

Sinfonia antartica
Tallis Fantasia
Dona nobis pacem
Job
Piano Concerto

I've seen much support for Dona nobis pacem. Such an awesome setting of poignant texts.

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK