Browse: Vaughan Williams - Symphony No. 2 'A London Symphony'
This page lists all recordings of Symphony No. 2 'A London Symphony' by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958).
Having made some sketches for a symphonic poem about London, Vaughan Williams was encouraged by George Butterworth to write a full symphony, and adapted these initial sketches into his London Symphony.
Vaughan Williams continued to revise the piece for many years, yet for all his changes it remained “the symphony he himself liked best of his nine”, as he told Sir John Barbirolli.
Although not strictly programmatic (Vaughan Williams suggested it would have been better titled “Symphony by a Londoner"), the work still depicts various London scenes, including the Westminster chimes, the street cries of flower sellers, and also some of the grimmer aspects of city life.
original 1913 version
London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox
Hickox and the London Symphony Orchestra have come up with a recording that you can cheerfully measure against most others in the catalogue, before you consider its unique extra charms! — More…
& other works
Elizabeth Watts (soprano), Mary Bevan (soprano), Kitty Whately (mezzo-soprano)
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal College of Music Brass Band, Martyn Brabbins
Brabbins conducts the [Symphony] with a sense of purposeful directness, likeably enhanced by the expressive warmth of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s response. — More…
David Nolan (violin), Nigel Kennedy (violin), Piers Lane (piano), Tasmin Little (violin), Diana Cummings (violin)
London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Vernon Handley
Ian Bostridge (tenor), Sarah Chang (violin)
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink
This set presents RVW in a slightly heretical way that will appeal to those whose RVW tastes have become jaded or for those who have, for whatever reason, been put off by the mainstream cycles.... — More…
Stéphane Rancourt (oboe)
Hallé, Sir Mark Elder
The throw themselves so fully into the texture and colour of the piece it becomes almost visual - captured are not only the hansom cabs, street-sellers' cries, Cockney mouth organs and accordions... — More…
and version of the Sea Symphony for two pianos and orchestra
Leon McCawley (piano), John Lenehan (piano)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Martin Yates
At times we miss the focused punch of one piano's combat with the orchestra…yet 20 fingers certainly bring a heightened percussive charge in the final section's 'fuga chromatica'. Either way... — More…