Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos 3 'Pastoral' & 4

Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos 3 'Pastoral' & 4 cover
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Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos 3 'Pastoral' & 4
David Butt Philip (tenor) / BBC Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins

[ Hyperion / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 31 January 2020

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Compelling performances of two very different symphonies, the complex visionary pantheism of the 'Pastoral' an ideal foil for the unbridled ferocity of No 4. An added incentive, Martyn Brabbins's idiomatic realization of Vaughan Williams's choral Saraband 'Helen' (a first recording) is a real discovery.

'One immediately feels Brabbins's special affinity for this music in the numinous pacing of the first movement of the Pastoral Symphony … I was most moved by the space, shape and tone Brabbins gives to the lyrical second subject [of the first movement of No 4] that then contrasts so vividly with the mechanistic theme (so redolent of Job) which follows. Brabbins's attention to dynamic detail is also striking, both in the first movement (note the really hushed level of the development before the recapitulation really erupts) and the troubling demeanour of the slow movement' (Gramophone)

'[Symphony No 3] Martyn Brabbins seems completely aware of the duality of the symphony-the sometimes understated beauty of the surface, the turbulence breaking through from below … [Symphony No 4] another superbly paced performance … these new accounts from Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra sound superb in such broad, atmospheric recordings' (BBC Record Review)

'Highly recommended' (New Classics)

'This CD contains an account of the Pastoral Symphony in the superlative class, fully revealing the genius lying behind the score … this exceptionally well-filled issue is very strongly recommended' (Musical Opinion)

"This is a fine disc, and one that builds upon the qualities present in the first two volumes." MusicWeb Feb 2020


Symphony No 3 'Pastoral'
Symphony No 4 in F minor
Saraband 'Helen' Was this the face that launched a thousand ships?

Ralph Vaughan Williams - A London Symphony & other works