SOMM Recordings’ celebration of the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birth continues with Volume 2 of Vaughan Williams Live, featuring historic performances by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult in new, signature remasterings by Lani Spahr with authoritative booklet notes by Vaughan Williams’ biographer Simon Heffer.
Two works featuring the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus include a 1945 BBC radio broadcast of the first performance of the wartime masterpiece Thanksgiving for Victory – with soprano Elsie Suddaby, organist George Thalben-Ball and Valentine Dyall as the speaker – and the rapturous Serenade to Music from the opening night of the BBC’s Third Programme (now Radio 3) in 1946. First performed in 1938 in celebration of Henry Wood’s jubilee as a conductor and originally composed for 16 solo singers, it appears here in its version for orchestra, chorus and four soloists – Isobel Baillie (soprano), Astra Desmond (contralto), Beveridge White (tenor), and Harold Williams (baritone).
Its dedicatee, Boult, conducts a performance of Job: A Masque for Dancing in 1946 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra before he made his four studio recordings of the work.
Volume 1 of Vaughan Williams Live (SOMM Ariadne 5016) was hailed by All About the Arts as “beautifully remastered [and] sounding like pure gold” and was The Symphonist’s Record of the Week.
SOMM’s previous Vaughan Williams recordings include Symphony No.5 and Dona Nobis Pacem with the BBCSO (SOMMCD 071), “a mandatory purchase for all lovers of Vaughan Williams’s music and, frankly, a priceless document” (MusicWeb International). And the “compelling” (International Piano) The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams by Mark Bebbington and Rebecca Omordia (SOMMCD 0164).
Lani Spahr’s previous, universally acclaimed SOMM restorations include Elgar Rediscovered (SOMMCD 0167) and the four-disc set Elgar Remastered (SOMMCD 261-4) hailed by Audiophilia as “a fascinating achievement which will have you wishing for more”.
On This Recording
- Thanksgiving for Victory (A Song of Thanksgiving)
BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Sir Adrian Boult, Elsie Suddaby, soprano; Valentine Dyall, narrator; George Thalben-Ball, organ; Choir of the Children of the Thomas Coram School
- Serenade to Music
BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Sir Adrian Boult, Isobel Baillie, soprano; Astra Desmond, contralto; Beveridge White, tenor; Harold Williams, baritone
- Scene 1: Introduction – Pastoral Dance – Satan’s Appeal to God — Saraband of the Sons of God
- Scene 2: Satan’s Dance of Triumph
- Scene 3: Minuet of the Sons of Job and their Wives
- Scene 4: Job’s Dream – Dance of Plague, Pestilence, Famine and Battle
- Scene 5: Dance of the Three Messengers
- Scene 6: Dance of Job’s Comforters - Job’s Curse – A Vision of Satan
- Scene 7: Elihu’s Dance of Youth and Beauty – Pavane of the Sons of the Morning
- Scene 8: Galliard of the Sons of the Morning – Altar Dance and Heavenly Pavane
- Scene 9: Epilogue
Job: A Masque for Dancing
Boston Symphony Orchestra & Sir Adrian Boult