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Recorded: Cheltenham Festival, 7 July 1972 (Vaughan Williams), Barking Town Hall, 26 November 1969 (Hadley, Bax), Maida Vale Studios, 12 December 1966 (Berg)
Sir Adrian Boult was Vaughan Williams's close friend and one of his greatest advocates.
The broadcast in excellent stereo from the 1972 Cheltenham Festival marks the composers 100th anniversary with wonderful performances of Symphony No.6 (Boult gave the first performance of this work in 1947) and the ever popular Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis. Boult recorded these works in the studio many times but these are live performances and the occasion is palpably felt.
There are two short fillers in stereo from Patrick Hadley (celebrating Vaughan Williams's 70th birthday) and Arnold Bax with his warmly atmospheric 'Mediterranean' both recorded in the studio in 1969.
As a substantial bonus and also as a 'must' for Boult collectors is a very rare broadcast made in 1966 in stereo of Berg's 'Lyric Suite'. Boult gave a pioneering performance of Berg's 'Wozzeck' in 1933 and therefore it is of particular interest to hear his interpretation of the three movement 'Lyric Suite', one of the composers most approachable works.
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 6 in E minor
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Epilogue: Moderato
Patrick Hadley: One Morning in Spring
One Morning in Spring
Arnold Bax: Mediterranean (version for orchestra)
Mediterranean (version for orchestra)
Alban Berg: 3 Satze aus der Lyrischen Suite (3 Pieces from the Lyric Suite) (arr. for string orchestra)
I. Andante amoroso
II. Allegro misterioso
III. Adagio appassionato
“…characteristically unforced, humane and, above all, honest readings of the Tallis Fantasia and Sixth Symphony… Boult aficionados will not want to miss this absorbing anthology.”
1st May 2009
“...testaments to what an outstanding Vaughan Williams interpreter Boult was, whether in the luminous intensity and effortlessly sculpted lines of the Fantasia, or the brutal drama he unleashes in the Sixth, whose premiere he had conducted 24 years earlier.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.