Vaughan Williams: Sinfonia Antartica - Davis

Vaughan Williams: Sinfonia Antartica - Davis

Chandos  CHSA 5186

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Vaughan Williams: Sinfonia Antartica*, Four Last Songs** (orch. Payne), Piano Concerto*** (arr. composer & Joseph Cooper for 2 pianos)

Mari Eriksmoen* (soprano)
Roderick Williams** (baritone)
Hélène Mercier*** & Louis Lortie*** (pianos)
Bergen Philharmonic Choir*
Edvard Grieg Kor*
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis (conductor)

This is the eagerly awaited final volume in our historic series of Vaughan Williams’s Symphonies, started about twenty-five years ago by the late Richard Hickox, and recently continued by that other expert in British repertoire, Sir Andrew Davis.

The album features an exceptional cast and a rare combination of repertoire. While the indefatigable piano duo Louis Lortie and Hélene Mercier tackle the virtuosic Double Piano Concerto, the baritone Roderick Williams OBE offers breathtaking interpretations of the rarely heard, yet passionate Four Last Songs, in Anthony Payne’s delicate and imaginative orchestration, premiered at the BBC Proms only four years ago. Vaughan Williams based the disc’s centrepiece, the majestic Sinfonia Antartica, on music he had written for the film Scott of the Antarctic only a few years before, stunningly evoking the implacable, frozen landscape of the Antarctic.

All are supported by the impeccable Bergen orchestra and choirs and recorded in surround-sound. This album is a very special one, as is the now complete series.

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PCM recording
Comments (10)

Comment by diw - September 3, 2017 (1 of 10)

Eagerly awaited, indeed. A major gap filled.

Comment by William Hecht - September 3, 2017 (2 of 10)

Good news indeed, though I prefer the single piano version of the concerto.

Comment by hiredfox - September 5, 2017 (3 of 10)

The original part of the 'set' was performed by the LSO under Richard Hickox so it may have been a wiser choice to guest Andrew Davis with the LSO but that's just the contrary bit of me nitpicking. What really pleases me most is that Chandos are still committed to our cause and long may it be so.

Comment by Jan Arell - September 7, 2017 (4 of 10)

The Bergen PO will this season start recording a Bruckner cycle under Thomas Dausgaard. This time for Bis. (Source: Gramophone)

Comment by Nick - September 7, 2017 (5 of 10)

I was thinking of buying the new Dutton full movie score, as I understand the symphony is a distillation of the best bits?
I have the late 60s Previn LSO traversal with the sonorous Sir Ralph Richardson intoning the superscriptions preceding the movements, unfortunately from the description it looks like Chandos have missed a trick by not utilising Roderick Williams for the same purpose...

Comment by Waveform - September 8, 2017 (6 of 10)

Thanks for this information, Jan Arell! Looking forward to hear Dausgaard's Bruckner as he has brought out many outstanding recordings on BIS. Glad to see they have finally started to fill the gaps of the catalogue (Mahler and Bruckner Symphonies).

Comment by john hunter - September 8, 2017 (7 of 10)

The use of spoken introductions to each movement is ,of course, debateable.
Most recording omit them as they are pretty distracting.
I have the Previn on a HDTT transfer from the l.p.
It confirmed that for me, the Sinfonia works much better with out them.

Comment by BRIAN SMITH - September 20, 2017 (8 of 10)

Does anyone know if the spoken commentaries are on separate tracks? Being able to skip over them would be desirable.

Comment by john hunter - September 25, 2017 (9 of 10)

There does not seem to have commentary as far as I can see from the cover. No narrator is named. Hallelujah!

Comment by diw - August 16, 2018 (10 of 10)

This is an excellent release. I wish Chandos would go back to rerecord Symphonies #2 and 3, etc, with the current forces. The sound quality is superior to the earlier part of the series.