Gramophone Editor´s Choice
Hallé returns with its second volume of works by Vaughan Williams, continuing its award winning survey of British music under its Musical Director, Sir Mark Elder.
Latest release for award winning label in the English repertoire at which it excels
The release combines two highly contrasting works to provide a disc which is both moving and uplifting.
Symphony No.5 is a generally tranquil work with music influenced by Ravel, with whom Vaughan Williams had studied, and is scored for very traditional forces
Symphony No.8 is dedicated to Sir John Barbirolli and was premièred by the Hallé in 1956. It is the shortest and least serious of the symphonies and whilst not being without moments of somber mood, is generally light hearted in tone. It is has a more exotic instrumental colour, with an enhanced percussion section.
These works have long been part of Hallé’s concert repertoire under Sir Mark Elder in performances which have drawn great critical praise:
'I cannot think of another conductor around today better equipped to conduct this score than Sir Mark and he didn’t disappoint.' Michael Cookson, 'Seen and Heard International', Review of performance of Symphony No.5, Nov 2011
“Elder's sense of atmosphere and specific locality win out...The Scherzo shows the Hallé winds and brass to excellent effect and I was warmed by Elder's well-aimed use of string portamentos in the 'Cavatina'...I would recommend it unreservedly.” Gramophone
***** “Elder's way with Vaughan Williams' Fifth Symphony is one of those interpretations that grows with repeated hearings. As expected from the current Halle vintage, it's finely played in every department, with true live-recording atmosphere.” BBC Music Magazine
“Elder’s is the most satisfying performance of RVW’s Symphony 5 that I’ve heard. Why? For me it’s because he gets the tempi just right. He isn’t afraid to be unhurried and yet at the same time a flowing, forward pulse is always apparent...The glory of this CD from Elder is that it offers a consistent and sustained appreciation of the reflective aspects of these RVW symphonies.” Music Web