Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Williams, Cummings, Handley|
London Symphony 2 & 8
Listen to Samples
Excellent budget choice in Vaughan Williams
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 10/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although not sold widely in the U.S., Handley's cycle of Vaughan Williams symphonies is at super budget oeice on eBay or through online UK dealers. He is never less than very good; his Royal Liverpool Orchestra sounds almost as expert as the Halle and is well recorded. Vaughan Williams doesn't need a virtuoso orchestra, anyway. As an interpreter, Vernon Handley lies somewhere between Boult's straight-ahead propulsion and Barbirolli's eloquent rubato. He never lacks for exctiment and is capable of a braod, singing line where needed.
This CD is typical, with a fine London Sym. and an even better Sym. #8. The latter, from VW's old age, is often called enigmatic, while the Sym. #2 is one of his best-loved nostalgia pieces. In reality both are lovable, tuneful, and deeply reactionary so far as harmony goes. Holding steady was a huge challenge for England during the two world wars and the social upheaval that VW witnessed across his long life. If his idiom stayed rooted in folk song and hymns, so be it. His highly accessible style bespeaks a great deal of character. It makes you realize the value of tradition in the best sense of the term."