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ARIADNE 5019-2 (SOMM Recordings, CD, 2 discs)
COMPILATION (18 November 2022)
Playing time: 73'47"/71'51" - TT 145'38"
Tracks: 17 + 10
Booklet pages: 28
℗ 2022 SOMM Recordings
© 2022 SOMM Recordings
Main country of recording: United Kingdom
Country of manufacture: European Union
Reviewer: Patrick Maxwell
Review of Vaughan Williams Live - Vol 3 published on 28 December 2022
Renée Flynn, soprano (CD2 tracks 5-10)
Roy Henderson, baritone (CD2 tracks 5-10)
London Symphony Orchestra (CD1 tracks 1-9)
London Philharmonic Orchestra (CD1 tracks 10-17 and CD2 tracks 1-4)
BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (CD2 tracks 5-10)
Ralph Vaughan Williams, conductor
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958):
A London Symphony (No 2)
1-3 Lento - Allegro risoluto
7 Scherzo (Nocturne)
8-9 Finale. Andante con moto - Maestoso alla marcia - Lento - Epilogue
Symphony No 5 in D (first performance, 1943)
10-12 Preludio (Moderato)
13 Scherzo (Presto misterioso)
14-15 Romanza (Lento)
16-17 Passacaglia (Moderato)
Symphony No 5 in D (1952 performance)
1 Preludio (Moderato)
2 Scherzo (Presto misterioso)
3 Romanza (Lento)
4 Passacaglia (Moderato)
Dona Nobis Pacem
5 Agnus Dei
6 Beat! beat! drums!
8 Dirge for Two Veterans
9 The Angel of Death has been abroad
10 O man greatly beloved
SOMM Recordings celebrates the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams' birth with Vaughan Williams Live, Volume 3, featuring signature works conducted by the composer including the 1943 world premiere of his Fifth Symphony with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. All performances on this double-CD set have been expertly restored and remastered by Lani Spahr. Recorded during the BBC Proms, the Fifth Symphony is among live performances recorded off the air by engineer Kenneth Leech held in the British Library. Begun under the shadow of mounting fears of war in Europe, it is illuminated by Vaughan Williams' relationship with his second wife-to-be, Ursula Wood and served, as biographer Simon Heffer's booklet note says, as 'a reminder of the pre-war England in which the composer's soul and creative spirit remained'. Also from the Leech Collection, the London Symphony Orchestra's 1946 Proms account of A London Symphony (No 2) is an 'historic performance of one of his greatest and most enduring works'. Newly re-mastered for reissue with this celebratory set, the LPO also features in the Fifth Symphony from 1952, coupled with a 1936 Dona Nobis Pacem by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and soloists, soprano Renée Flynn and baritone Roy Henderson.
CD1 was recorded off-air by Kenneth Leach on 31 July 1946 (A London Symphony) and 24 June 1943 (Symphony No 5) from the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London UK. CD2 was recorded on 3 September 1952 at the BBC Proms (Symphony No 5, reissue, with new source material supplied by Lani Spahr) and in November 1936 at BBC Studios, London UK (Dona Nobis Pacem, first broadcast performance).