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The popular overture from Vaughan Williams’s incidental music for Aristophanes’s The Wasps introduces a suite whose mischievously witty, noble and farcical movements underline the play’s satire of the Athenian legal system.
A similar vivacity characterises his English Folksong Suite and The Running Set, where Vaughan Williams relishes setting tunes such as Barrack Hill, Irish Reel, The Blackthorn Stick and Cock o’ the North.
Folksong-like melodies also feature in his magnificent Piano Concerto, in which the magisterial influence of Bach and Busoni may also be heard.
"Make no mistake about it: this boy is special. What I love about his playing is its sincerity and tenderness. He doesn’t just caress the piano, he probes its soft depths with the utmost consideration.” The Independent
Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Wasps, Aristophanic Suite
III. March Past of the Kitchen Utensils
V. Ballet and Final Tableau
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Piano Concerto in C major
I. Toccata: Allegro moderato
II. Romanza: Lento
III. Fuga chromatica con finale alla tedesca: Allegro - Lento - Largo sostenuto - Andante sostenuto
Ralph Vaughan Williams: English Folk Song Suite (arr. G. Jacob)
I. March, "Seventeen come Sunday"
III. Intermezzo, "My Bonny Boy"
IV. March, "Folk Songs from Somerset"
Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Running Set
The Running Set
“The Piano Concerto of Vaughan Williams has been seriously undervalued… a performance as fine as this one from Ashley Wass will simply have one marvelling at the originality of the piece and its distinctive slant on the idea of a piano concerto.”
“Ashley Wass's commanding way with the solo part is beautifully poised in the Romanza, while admirably resisting any temptation to smooth over the Toccata's hard edges. Both in the Concerto and in the more familiar territory elsewhere, James Judd secures orchestral accompaniments of brilliant colour and focus.”
“Wass delivers the solo part with impressive command. Outstanding recorded sound.”
“Vaughan Williams' concertante works have never enjoyed great fame, but this recording with James Judd and the RLPO shows his Piano Concerto to be worth getting to know - and young pianist Ashley Wass is a great ambassador. Gordon Jacob's orchestral version of the English Folk Song Suite (originally for wind band) is a delight, and the Aristophanic Suite from The Wasps is full of wit and colour.”