Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 874424 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5760 on: June 17, 2022, 06:25:42 AM »
I would be most interested in your views of a piece that tends to fly under the radar.

Will report over in Holst's own thread!
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5761 on: June 17, 2022, 08:35:15 AM »
Egdon Heath is a masterpiece, Karl. I read that this is one of Holst's personal favorite pieces of his own.
+1
A bit like and English 'Tapiola' in spirit.
See you in the Holst thread!
 ;D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5762 on: June 22, 2022, 09:07:36 PM »
An interesting review of the conclusion of the Elder cycle of symphonies:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Jun/VWilliams-antartica-CDHLD7558.htm

I agree that it's a pity that Elder's very successful performance of 'Job' was not included in the boxed set of complete symphonies.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 09:09:08 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5763 on: June 22, 2022, 10:15:28 PM »
An interesting review of the conclusion of the Elder cycle of symphonies:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Jun/VWilliams-antartica-CDHLD7558.htm

I agree that it's a pity that Elder's very successful performance of 'Job' was not included in the boxed set of complete symphonies.

I know not everyone here rates the Elder cycle highly, but I am a big fan and listen often. Nice review, thank you.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5764 on: June 22, 2022, 10:35:35 PM »
I know not everyone here rates the Elder cycle highly, but I am a big fan and listen often. Nice review, thank you.
My pleasure Danny. The new Elder CD featuring Sinfonia Antartica and Symphony No.9 etc costs half as much as the complete boxed set which retails at about £30.00. They could have included 'Job' which is an excellent performance.

From WAYLTN thread:
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.8 (LSO Hickox)
First listen to the new boxed set, which I was given yesterday. The rather peculiar sketch of the podgy Vaughan Williams on the front cover is, as I thought, an early painted sketch for the (much better) painting of Vaughan Williams in the Royal College of Music by Sir Gerald Kelly (see below). The finished painting also features in the Thomson boxed set of VW symphonies. The performance of the 8th Symphony is good but nothing special IMO and it is without the magical qualities of Previn's recording (Thomson is also excellent in this symphony). The lovely Cavatina, for example, is taken rather slowly but, to me, just sounds drawn out rather than especially insightful or moving. The CD is, however, of great interest as, after the symphony, you get recorded speeches by VW himself, Ursula VW, Barbirolli and Boult (in total about 50 minutes). The booklet features a nice photo of VW and Holst on one of their walking expeditions.



« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 10:52:18 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5765 on: June 23, 2022, 02:22:17 AM »
An interesting review of the conclusion of the Elder cycle of symphonies:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Jun/VWilliams-antartica-CDHLD7558.htm

I agree that it's a pity that Elder's very successful performance of 'Job' was not included in the boxed set of complete symphonies.

Thanks for the link to the review.

If you are coming new to this cycle the box set is a bargain. I collected the cycle as it was released (and Job) so I wasn't interested in the box. Also the box set doesn't have the various fillers although some of them have appeared elsewhere. The Antartica album came down in price between per-ordering it and actually receiving it from Amazon but it is still around £16.

Yesterday I listened to Elder's Sea Symphony and now intend to work through the whole cycle.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5766 on: June 23, 2022, 03:05:08 AM »
Thanks for the link to the review.

If you are coming new to this cycle the box set is a bargain. I collected the cycle as it was released (and Job) so I wasn't interested in the box. Also the box set doesn't have the various fillers although some of them have appeared elsewhere. The Antartica album came down in price between per-ordering it and actually receiving it from Amazon but it is still around £16.

Yesterday I listened to Elder's Sea Symphony and now intend to work through the whole cycle.
What's the Elder Sea Symphony like? I'm still debating what to do about the boxed set. I bought the individual release featuring A Pastoral Symphony (very good) and Symphony No.6 (poor) and 'Job' (excellent) but none of the others  - your point about the fillers isa good one.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2022, 04:52:09 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5767 on: June 23, 2022, 03:07:56 AM »
What's the Elder Sea Symphony like? I'm still debaing what to do about the boxed set. I bought the individual release featuring A Pastoral Symphony (very good) and Symphony No.6 (poor) and 'Job' (excellent) but none of the others  - your point about the fillers isa good one.

The Elder Sea Symphony is a fine performance, my only quibble is that I would prefer a soprano with less vibrato.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5768 on: June 23, 2022, 04:32:15 AM »
What's the Elder Sea Symphony like? I'm still debaing what to do about the boxed set. I bought the individual release featuring A Pastoral Symphony (very good) and Symphony No.6 (poor) and 'Job' (excellent) but none of the others  - your point about the fillers isa good one.

For what its worth I've recently listened to the complete Elder cycle in order.  Certain characteristics emerge both in terms of the interpretations and the engineering.  Most performances (6 of the 9 I think) are taken from concerts and the chosen orchestral perspective is more recessed than is often heard.  The studio performances - produced/engineered by Andrew Keener and Simon Eadon I thought were technically better than the "live" ones.  Elder favours middle to slower tempi and he certainly never asks the Halle to play "louder than beautiful".  For my taste some of RVW's stubbornly craggy writing is rather lost.  Highlights for me were a grand Sea Symphony, a thoughtful Pastoral (don't like the soprano who sings too loud) and a good 8.  London is a dud, 4 rather too cultured for my taste, 6 not that threatening either, Antartica one of the better ones too (with an underwhelming organ) and a pretty good 9.  As a set this would be a long way down my preferred choice - well after Boult 1 or 2, Previn or Thomson, Handley or Davis.  Except for the London I'd say they are all perfectly good - and certainly very well played - but not gripping in the way in the way that the other cycles often are and even the "highlight" performances are better done elsewhere.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5769 on: June 23, 2022, 04:51:36 AM »
The Elder Sea Symphony is a fine performance, my only quibble is that I would prefer a soprano with less vibrato.
Many thanks.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5770 on: June 23, 2022, 04:56:10 AM »
For what its worth I've recently listened to the complete Elder cycle in order.  Certain characteristics emerge both in terms of the interpretations and the engineering.  Most performances (6 of the 9 I think) are taken from concerts and the chosen orchestral perspective is more recessed than is often heard.  The studio performances - produced/engineered by Andrew Keener and Simon Eadon I thought were technically better than the "live" ones.  Elder favours middle to slower tempi and he certainly never asks the Halle to play "louder than beautiful".  For my taste some of RVW's stubbornly craggy writing is rather lost.  Highlights for me were a grand Sea Symphony, a thoughtful Pastoral (don't like the soprano who sings too loud) and a good 8.  London is a dud, 4 rather too cultured for my taste, 6 not that threatening either, Antartica one of the better ones too (with an underwhelming organ) and a pretty good 9.  As a set this would be a long way down my preferred choice - well after Boult 1 or 2, Previn or Thomson, Handley or Davis.  Except for the London I'd say they are all perfectly good - and certainly very well played - but not gripping in the way in the way that the other cycles often are and even the "highlight" performances are better done elsewhere.
Very helpful to know - thank you. I know this is a rather daft question but, assuming that you have the physical boxed set, what are the booklet notes like and are there any photos of VW (rather than just Elder) contained within it?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5771 on: June 23, 2022, 05:07:48 AM »
Very helpful to know - thank you. I know this is a rather daft question but, assuming that you have the physical boxed set, what are the booklet notes like and are there any photos of VW (rather than just Elder) contained within it?

Yes I do have the physical box.  The booklet is actually very good indeed - nicely printed on good quality paper stock.  The notes on each symphony are reproduced (I assume) from the original individual releases because they are by Michael Kennedy and Andrew Burn.  In addition there is a brief article called "The Halle and Vaughan Williams" and also 3 or 4 rather interesting photographs from the orchestra archives of RVW with Barbirolli and the orchestra.  There is also the pic of the famous signed score of at the premiere of Antartica.

As a PS to my previous post - even while this is not my favourite set, in NO WAY is it poor as Hurwitz unequivocally stated in his recent "review" of the set online.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5772 on: June 23, 2022, 05:16:37 AM »
Yes I do have the physical box.  The booklet is actually very good indeed - nicely printed on good quality paper stock.  The notes on each symphony are reproduced (I assume) from the original individual releases because they are by Michael Kennedy and Andrew Burn.  In addition there is a brief article called "The Halle and Vaughan Williams" and also 3 or 4 rather interesting photographs from the orchestra archives of RVW with Barbirolli and the orchestra.  There is also the pic of the famous signed score of at the premiere of Antartica.

As a PS to my previous post - even while this is not my favourite set, in NO WAY is it poor as Hurwitz unequivocally stated in his recent "review" of the set online.
Thanks v much RS. Still not sure what to do - my wife would suggest not buying anything at all.  ::)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline LKB

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5773 on: June 23, 2022, 05:27:05 AM »
In my experience, Hurwitz's reviews always have to be taken with at least a couple grains of salt... big ones.

« Last Edit: June 23, 2022, 06:08:35 AM by LKB »
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Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5774 on: June 23, 2022, 06:03:13 AM »
I have numerous cycles as well as individual discs (LPs and CDs) and some of the cycles (or partial cycles) were assembled over a number of years. Some have been favourites for decades.

Apart from a small number of core recordings I now find it almost impossible to choose 'favourites'. If I was forced to take one cycle to that fabled desert island it would be Boult/EMI - as long as I could take Barbirolli's 2 & 5 - and probably Previn's 3......

I suppose there is a strong element of sentiment involved including a deep attachment to the Halle and some favourite conductors. I think Elder is a wonderful conductor and I heard him numerous times at the ENO but never live in an orchestral concert (that I can remember).

I don't need Hurvitz's opinions.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5775 on: June 23, 2022, 06:10:03 AM »
I have numerous cycles as well as individual discs (LPs and CDs) and some of the cycles (or partial cycles) were assembled over a number of years. Some have been favourites for decades.

Apart from a small number of core recordings I now find it almost impossible to choose 'favourites'. If I was forced to take one cycle to that fabled desert island it would be Boult/EMI - as long as I could take Barbirolli's 2 & 5 - and probably Previn's 3......

I suppose there is a strong element of sentiment involved including a deep attachment to the Halle and some favourite conductors. I think Elder is a wonderful conductor and I heard him numerous times at the ENO but never live in an orchestral concert (that I can remember).

I don't need Hurvitz's opinions.

Agreed and agreed to the boldened sections above! 

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5776 on: June 23, 2022, 06:58:49 AM »
Just bought:



This will complete my Elder RVW collection. I may have to go through his cycle again and see what sticks and what doesn't. As I mentioned before, A Pastoral Symphony is a gorgeous performance and one of the best versions I've heard of this symphony. His Tallis Fantasia and Five Variants on 'Dives and Lazarus' were also incredibly well-performed.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2022, 07:01:57 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5777 on: June 23, 2022, 10:07:13 AM »
I have numerous cycles as well as individual discs (LPs and CDs) and some of the cycles (or partial cycles) were assembled over a number of years. Some have been favourites for decades.

Apart from a small number of core recordings I now find it almost impossible to choose 'favourites'. If I was forced to take one cycle to that fabled desert island it would be Boult/EMI - as long as I could take Barbirolli's 2 & 5 - and probably Previn's 3......

I suppose there is a strong element of sentiment involved including a deep attachment to the Halle and some favourite conductors. I think Elder is a wonderful conductor and I heard him numerous times at the ENO but never live in an orchestral concert (that I can remember).

I don't need Hurvitz's opinions.
Yes, you'd have to take Previn's No.3  ;D
Which Barbirolli recordings are you referring to; PYE or EMI?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online JBS

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5778 on: June 23, 2022, 05:27:59 PM »
Yes, you'd have to take Previn's No.3  ;D
Which Barbirolli recordings are you referring to; PYE or EMI?

[Interjecting] Barbirolli didn't record Number 5 for Pye; he did record it twice for EMI (more precisely, for HMV). Purely for sonics the later version is better.

I don't recall thinking either of the two recordings of the Second was clearly better than the other. But if you had the original issue of the Pye, you'd also have the Eighth.

[The above is based on my traversal of the Warner Barbirolli box.]

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5779 on: June 23, 2022, 08:40:02 PM »
[Interjecting] Barbirolli didn't record Number 5 for Pye; he did record it twice for EMI (more precisely, for HMV). Purely for sonics the later version is better.

I don't recall thinking either of the two recordings of the Second was clearly better than the other. But if you had the original issue of the Pye, you'd also have the Eighth.

[The above is based on my traversal of the Warner Barbirolli box.]
Yes, you're quite right Jeffrey - the earlier London Symphony was for Pye. Alto were thinking of reissuing it but not sure that's going to happen now - it's a fine performance though.

My earliest knowledge of the 5th Symphony comes from Barbirolli's later version (one of the best I think) which my older brother had in his LP collection.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).