Ralph Vaughan Williams: Stars of the Night - Songs of Travel and Works for Piano & Violin
This Albion recording from Potton Hall, 2013, includes the world-première recording of Vaughan Williams's violin and piano arrangement of his violin concerto, and an outstanding recording of The Lark Ascending for violin and piano, played by Matthew Trusler and Iain Burnside. Roland Wood returns to record the Songs of Travel and songs from the Pilgrim's Progress.
This recording highlights both Vaughan Williams' skill in setting English poetry and prose to music and his abiding love of the violin, which he described as his 'musical salvation'. We feature settings of both John Bunyan and Robert Louis Stevenson alongside familiar and less well-known works for violin, arranged on this occasion, for violin and piano.
Matthew Trusler has developed a reputation as one of Britain's leading violinists, performing with many of the world's great orchestras, and receiving huge critical acclaim for his diverse recordings. Performing on a bow once owned by Heifetz, Trusler has received particular acclaim for his performances of works from the 20th century. Roland Wood was born in Berkshire and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Patrick McGuigan and Robert Alderson, then at the National Opera Studio. In 2012 he sang the title roles of Bunyan and The Pilgrim in an acclaimed new production of Vaughan Williams's 'The Pilgrim's Progress' at ENO. He also features on ALBCD016 Vaughan Williams: The Solent Iain Burnside is a Scottish classical pianist and accompanist, and a former presenter on BBC Radio 3. Following study at Merton College, Oxford, the Royal Academy of Music and the Chopin Academy, in Warsaw he became a freelance pianist, specialising particularly in song repertoire. He has written a musical play A Soldier and a Maker on the life of Ivor Gurney, premiered in 2012.
Iain Burnside also features on ALB001 Vaughan Williams: The Sky shall be our Roof, ALBCD002 Vaughan Williams: Kissing her Hair, ALBCD013 Vaughan Williams: On Christmas Day and ALBCD015 Vaughan Williams: The Sons of the Morning, his first solo piano album.
Wood is a fine musical story-teller, articulating words and melodies with equal sensitivity and care. The Songs of Travel are the only straightforward work on a disc from the recording label of the Vaughan Williams Society that is otherwise filled with wonderful curiosities and oddities chamber arrangements of songs from The Pilgrim's Progress and The Lark Ascending by the composer himself, and Constant Lambert's arrangement for violin and piano of Vaughan Williams's Violin Concerto. The musical economy of the latter lends itself particularly well to Lambert's chamber treatment. The melodic architecture emerges clearly in Matthew Trusler's vital performance, which retains folk colours and gestures among straighter classical technique. What The Lark Ascending loses in widescreen scope when reduced for violin and piano, it gains in the rougher, earthier colours that emerge the husky purity of Trusler's violin against the bell-clarity of Burnside's piano. Once again, Albion Records has given us a treasure trove of a disc full of fresh insights and sideways glances at familiar repertoire. --Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone, Awards Issue 2014
- Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel: The Vagabond
- Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel: Let Beauty Awake
- Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel: The Roadside Fire
- Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel: Youth and Love
- Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel: In Dreams
- Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel: The Infinite Shining Heavens
- Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel: Whither must I wander
- Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel: Bright is the ring of words
- Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel: I have trod the upward and the downward slope
- Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk Song: Lovely on the Water
- Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk Song: Spurn Point
- Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk Song: Van Diemen's Land
- Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk Song: She borrowed some of her mother's gold
- Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk Song: The Lady and the Dragoon
- Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk Song: As I walked over London Bridge
- Vaughan Williams: Three Songs from The Pilgrim's Progress: Watchful's Song (Nocturne)
- Vaughan Williams: Three Songs from The Pilgrim's Progress: The Song of The Pilgrims
- Vaughan Williams: Three Songs from The Pilgrim's Progress: The Pilgrim's Psalm
- Vaughan Williams: Violin Concerto I. Allegro Pesante
- Vaughan Williams: Violin Concerto II. Adagio
- Vaughan Williams: Violin Concerto III. Presto
- Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
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