Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Vaughan Williams Live, Volume 3


Catalogue No: ARIADNE 5019-2
Release Date: 2022-11-18
Number of Discs: 2
EAN/UPC: 748871501928
Artists: , , , ,
Liner Notes

SOMM RECORDINGS celebrates the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birth with Vaughan Williams Live, Volume 3, featuring signature works conducted by the composer including the 1943 world premiere of his Fifth Symphony with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. All performances on this double-CD set have been expertly restored and re-mastered by Lani Spahr.

Recorded during the BBC Proms, the Fifth Symphony is among live performances recorded off the air by engineer Kenneth Leech held in the British Library. Begun under the shadow of mounting fears of war in Europe, it is illuminated by Vaughan Williams’ relationship with his second wife-to-be, Ursula Wood and served, as biographer Simon Heffer’s booklet note says, as “a reminder of the pre-war England in which the composer’s soul and creative spirit remained”. Also from the Leech Collection, the London Symphony Orchestra’s 1946 Proms account of A London Symphony (No.2), is an “historic performance of one of his greatest and most enduring works”.

A Gramophone Award-winner in 2008 and newly re-mastered for reissue with this celebratory set, the LPO also feature in the Fifth Symphony from 1952, coupled with a 1936 Dona Nobis Pacem by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and soloists, soprano Renée Flynn and baritone Roy Henderson.

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 Vaughan Williams recordings include the “compelling” (International Piano) The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams by Mark Bebbington and Rebeca Omordia (SOMMCD 0164).

Lani Spahr’s acclaimed SOMM restorations include Elgar Rediscovered (SOMMCD 0167) and four-disc Elgar Remastered (SOMMCD 261-4) – “a fascinating achievement which will have you wishing for more” (Audiophilia). Volume 3 of Elgar from America (SOMM Ariadne 5015-2) was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice declaring Spahr’s “superb audio restorations bring the performances fully to life”.

On This Recording

    Disc One

    A London Symphony (No.2)
    London Symphony Orchestra & Ralph Vaughan Williams

  1. I. Lento – Allegro risoluto
  2. I. Lento – Allegro risoluto
  3. I. Lento – Allegro risoluto
  4. II. Lento
  5. II. Lento
  6. II. Lento
  7. III. Scherzo (Nocturne)
  8. IV. Finale, Andante con moto- Maestoso alla marcia - Lento - Epilogue
  9. IV. Finale, Andante con moto- Maestoso alla marcia - Lento - Epilogue
  10. Symphony No. 5 in D major (1943 Premiere)
    London Philharmonic Orchestra & Ralph Vaughan Williams

  11. I. Preludio (Moderato)
  12. I. Preludio (Moderato)
  13. I. Preludio (Moderato)
  14. II. Scherzo (Presto misterioso)
  15. III. Romanza (Lento)
  16. IV. Passacaglia (Moderato)
  17. IV. Passacaglia (Moderato)
  18. Disc Two

    Symphony No. 5 in D major (1952)
    London Philharmonic Orchestra & Ralph Vaughan Williams

  19. I. Preludio (Moderato)
  20. II. Scherzo (Presto misterioso)
  21. III. Romanza (Lento)
  22. IV. Passacaglia (Moderato)
  23. Dona Nobis Pacem
    Renée Flynn (soprano), Roy Henderson (baritone), BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus & Ralph Vaughan Williams

  24. I. Agnus Dei
  25. II. Beat! Beat! Drums!
  26. III. Reconciliation
  27. IV. Dirge For Two Veterans
  28. V. The Angel of Death has been abroad
  29. VI. O man greatly beloved