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Ralph Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs of the Four Seasons

Format:
Compact Disc (Audio)
No of Discs:
1
Availability:
Available
Release Date:
27-07-2009
Genres:
Barcode:
5060158190102
Packaging:
Jewel Case
Catalog Number:
ALBCD010
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs of the Four Seasons
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs of the Four Seasons Ralph Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs of the Four Seasons

Description

The world première recordings of Vaughan Williams's Cantata 'Folk Songs of the Four Seasons', masterfully recorded under the baton of Sir David Willcocks in January 2009.

Folk Songs of the Four Seasons, a Cantata for Women's Voices, brought together two vital elements in Vaughan Williams' musical character: his strong support for amateur music making and his life-long love for English folksongs and folk-carols. The work was commissioned by the National Federation of Women's Institutes for their first Singing Festival in 1950.

In Windsor Forest is a cantata drawn from Vaughan Williams's opera Sir John in Love, which in turn is based on The Merry Wives of Windsor, his favourite Shakespeare play. He interpolated into the text various lyrics from Elizabethan poets as well as from other Shakespeare plays. Believing that there would be few performances of the opera, Vaughan Williams adapted the cantata in order to provide a practical alternative for mixed chorus and orchestra. The arrangement on this recording, for women's voices, which is the world premiere recording, was made by Guthrie Foote, Production Manager at the Oxford University Press, in 1954 in collaboration with the composer.

The Choir of Clare College enjoys an international reputation as one of the leading Oxbridge college choirs. It tours regularly and has made a number of highly acclaimed recordings. Its repertoire is extensive and includes much contemporary music. This recording, by the women's only voices of Clare Choir, was the choir's first collaboration with Sir David Willcocks (1919-2015).

Reviews

The performance of the cantata is excellent, but then one would expect nothing less from the veteran David Willcocks, 90 in December, but on this evidence still an energetic figure on the rostrum. --International Record Review, October 2009

A world premiere recording of works by Vaughan Williams is surely at this date something of a world event. --Gramophone, November 2009

Of the five Albion discs issued to date the most ambitious and exciting is this latest. The CD redresses a longstanding lacuna in the RVW recorded music catalogue. This recording is by a venerable doyen among the British choral traditions: Sir David Willcocks. Be assured, the roster for the 'Ensemble' takes it to full orchestra strength. This is not some cutdown chamber grouping, and the listening experience bears this out very convincingly. RVW writes with light in his pen and light shines through these cleverly laid out and lovingly performed movements. --Rob Barnett, Musicweb International

Tracks

  1. Name
  2. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Prologue To The Ploughboy
  3. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Spring Early In The Spring
  4. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Spring The Lark In The Morning
  5. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Spring May Song
  6. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Summer Summer Is A-Coming In / The Cuckoo
  7. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Summer The Sprig Of Thyme
  8. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Summer The Sheep Shearing
  9. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Summer The Green Meadow
  10. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Autumn John Barleycorn
  11. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Autumn The Unquiet Grave
  12. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Autumn An Acre Of Land
  13. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Winter Children's Christmas Song
  14. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Winter Wassail Song
  15. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Winter In Bethlehem City
  16. Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Of The Four Seasons: Winter God Bless The Master
  17. Vaughan Williams: In Windsor Forest: The Conspiracy (Sigh No More, Ladies)
  18. Vaughan Williams: In Windsor Forest: Falstaff And The Fairies (Round About In A Fair Ring-A)
  19. Vaughan Williams: In Windsor Forest: Wedding Chorus (See The Chariot At Hand)
  20. Vaughan Williams: In Windsor Forest: Epilogue (Whether Men Do Laugh Or Weep)
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