Saturday, July 23, 2016

Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis - Flos Campi - Five Variants of "Dives and Lazarus" - Fantasia on "Greensleeves" - Utah Symphony Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel - Vanguard Classics (orig. 1966/67 remastered 1991)

After a couple of decades this is still my favorite Vaughan Williams recording - excluding the many great recordings of the symphonies. Such a statement might seem a tall order, after all there's a wealth of great recordings that exist of every piece here, except for the major "Flos Campi" ("Flower of the Fields"), one of RVW's masterpieces from the 1920's which is "slim pickings" compared to the rest of the program. I have several favorites including a few on Chandos, one on Hyperion, a couple from EMI and so on. This is a sublime and one-of-a-kind work (yes, there are other pieces that also employ a wordless choir to great effect - the most obvious being the third movement, "Sirens" from Debussy's masterpiece Trois Nocturnes..) that inhabits an oddball universe that is magical, murky, and utterly enchanting.

It is the Tallis Fantasia, for me, that doesn't get any better than this. And oh do I have many many recordings of it that I cherish. Yet the playing here by the USO under Abravanel is imo something special, that is the interpretation as a whole; I do find the pacing here to be perfection but otherwise I won't bother trying to put it into words. This is a towering and noble masterpiece and I'm certain that almost all visitors here have their personal favorites. I hope some of you find this account worthy of placing near the top. I still find this to be one of greatest Five Variants of "Dives and Lazarus" that I have ever heard as well. Stunning. 

I am going to post both 320 and Lossless versions of this disc - Many Vaughan Williams freaks like myself wouldn't want anything less I'm sure. When I do post lossless, which is not often, I make m4a files, not the much larger wav files. I barely have time for dual uploads as it is : /


Apple Lossless:

Part 1:


Part 2:


-Perhaps you will agree with me, or perhaps not. Either way.... don't miss this!


coppinsuk said...

Hi Tz,

Thanking you for the continuation of your efforts in sharing your music with us - very much appreciated.

These Utah SO/Abravanel recordings are some of my all-time favourites from the 1960s when I purchased them on hard to find Philips Classical Favourites label (ex Vanguard) LPs.

The USO/Abravanel recordings never been given the recognition that they deserve.

Do hope that everything is working out fine for you these days?

Take care.


Douglas (UK)

Manolo said...

Mmmmm.... this one have a "hits" smell on it... but it's very good. Haven't heard before the five variations: gorgeous.

Excellent record, lush music with a minimun of means.

Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have a lot of RVW recordings but this one was new. And it's good!

Alexandru Valentin said...

Wonderful sharings! Big THANKS for all you are doing on this blog. Greetings from Romania!

OldBopper said...

Look forward to this music, especially after your praise.

grasprelease said...

Is there any chance of getting a re-up of the lossless rip? FLAC would be even better for me than ALAC, but ALAC is naturally quite fine. I wonder if another third-party service than Zippyshare would work best and possibly be a little better for longevity? Mega and Mediafire have been the best I've used in recent months.

Sorry to have so many preferences....apparently beggars _can_ be choosers!