SOMM RECORDINGS continues its acclaimed Vaughan Williams Live series celebrating the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birth with Volume 4 featuring his signature Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, the Concerto for Two Pianos and Eighth Symphony in recordings conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos and Sir John Barbirolli.
The Tallis Fantasia is a live recording from Carnegie Hall in 1943 with Mitropoulos, a committed advocate for Vaughan Williams’ music, conducting the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra. They are also heard in the Concerto for Two Pianos, again from Carnegie Hall in 1952, when the soloists were Arthur Whittemore and Jack Lowe, who forged a widely popular and critically acclaimed piano duo partnership in America in the middle of the last century.
Recorded in Manchester’s Free Trade Hall in 1964, the Symphony No.8 is blazingly conducted by its dedicatee, Sir John Barbirolli, leading the Hallé Orchestra.
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.
MusicWeb International declared Volume 2 (SOMM ARIADNE 5018) “a very valuable archive release and important addition to the Boult/Vaughan Williams discography” and Volume 3 (SOMM Ariadne 5019), a Recording of the Year nominee, “A headliner of a response to RVW150”.
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).
All performances have again been expertly restored and newly mastered by Lani Spahr whose acclaimed SOMM restorations include Elgar Rediscovered (SOMMCD 0167) and four-disc Elgar Remastered (SOMMCD 261-4), and a Gramophone Editor’s Choice for “superb audio restorations [that] bring the performances fully to life” for Elgar from America, Volume 3 (SOMM Ariadne 5015-2).
On This Recording
- Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, Dimitri Mitropoulos conductor
- I. Toccata: Allegro moderato
- II. Romanza: Lento
- III. Fuga chromatica con Finale alla tedesca
- I. Fantasia (Variazione senza Tema): Moderato
- II. Scherzo alla marcia (per stromenti a fiato): Allegro alla marcia
- III. Cavatina (per stromenti ad arco): Lento espressivo
- IV. Toccata: Moderato maestoso
Concerto in C major for Two Pianos and Orchestra
Arthur Whittemore, Jack Lowe pianos; New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, Dimitri Mitropoulos conductor
Symphony No. 8 in D minor
Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli conductor