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Vaughan Williams : Œuvres orchestrales. Elder.
Format : 1 CD
Total Time : 01:14:16

Recording : 2012-2013
Location : Salford/Manchester
Country : Royaume-Uni
Sound : Studio / Stereo

Label : Hallé
Catalog No. : HLL7540
EAN : 5065001341434

Publishing Year : 2015
Release Date : 18/03/2015

Genre : Classical
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Fantaisie sur un thème de Thomas Tallis
Symphonie pastorale
Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus
Ouverture The Wasps

Sarah Fox, soprano
Orchestre Hallé
Sir Mark Elder, direction

L’apparition du disque compact a permis la découverte d’un répertoire anglais que le microsillon rechignait à propager sur le continent : c’est le cas des œuvres de Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) dont les 9 symphonies, notamment, furent à peine disponibles chez nous, malgré les remarquables efforts de chefs d’orchestre du plus haut niveau tels que Sir Adrian Boult et Sir John Barbirolli. Une plus jeune génération de chefs anglo-saxons, tels que Vernon Handley, Richard Hickox ou André Previn, et même le Néerlandais Bernard Haitink, furent également les champions de ce compositeur que des esprits bien-pensants, sans vraiment le connaître, considéraient stupidement comme académique… Profitons donc de l’immense talent du chef britannique Sir Mark Elder qui nous montre de quelles richesses ce stupide ostracisme nous avait un temps privés, par l’admirable beauté des exécutions qu’il nous offre ici : dès la poignante interprétation de la Fantaisie sur un thème de Thomas Tallis, le langage musical de Vaughan Williams nous submerge, jusqu’à cette pétillante ouverture des Guêpes d’après Aristophane où se dévoile un humour bien british ! À la tête du Hallé Orchestra que Sir John Barbirolli avait façonné en l’un des orchestres anglais les plus prestigieux, Sir Mark Elder nous offre une magnifique symphonie n°3 « Pastorale » qui, aux côtés des symphonies n° 2 « Londres », n° 5 et n° 8 déjà enregistrées auparavant, nous laisse présager en toute confiance une intégrale d’exception. (Michel Tibbaut)

Following highly acclaimed previous Vaughan Williams releases, Hallé announces a new volume of British orchestral jewels including his Pastoral Symphony which movingly depicts the horrors of the First World War. Two of Vaughan Williams’ most popular works, Wasps Overture and Tallis Fantasia, are coupled with arguably his greatest and most original Symphony and a delightful multiple setting of a folk-song which enchanted the composer throughout his life. The Wasps Overture has become one of the composer’s most popular works. From the opening orchestral buzzing of a swarm of wasps, it emerges as one of English music’s great tunes, this work is a showcase for the vivid orchestral colours of Vaughan Williams’ writing, presented here to the height of effect by the acclaimed musicians of the Hallé. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is one of Vaughan Williams’s most frequently played works and is acknowledged as one of the greatest examples of writing for strings. Although the treatment of Tallis’s theme is mainly contemplative, there are dramatic and passionate moments in the Fantasia, which is scored for two string orchestras (the second orchestra comprising only nine players) with solo quartet. The ‘Pastoral’ Symphony is characterized with a mood which is gently elegiac and dark, and which reflects the work’s true genesis. Although the title mistakenly led audiences and critics to associate the work entirely with rural landscapes and English folksong, it is in fact directly related to the First World War of 1914-18. Vaughan Williams, although forty-one when war was declared, enlisted as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps and served as a wagon orderly in France. Five Variants of ‘Dives and Lazarus’, for strings and harps was written for the New York World Fair in 1939, when Sir Adrian Boult conducted the first performance in Carnegie Hall. Vaughan Williams first encountered the folksong Dives and Lazarus in 1893, when he was 21, later collecting several versions, and in this mature work he displays his affection for the melody in variants which are not exact replicas but reminiscences of various versions in several folksong collections, including his own.

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