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Greenesleeves / Tallis / Lark


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Vaughan Williams: Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas TallisSir Neville Marriner15:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on GreensleevesSir Neville Marriner 4:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Vaughan Williams: The Lark AscendingSir Neville Marriner16:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Vaughan Williams: Five Variants of "Dives and Lazarus"Sir Neville Marriner13:03$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Rivaled only by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Neville Marriner was one of the most important of the early figures who spearheaded the reawakening of modern interest in Baroque and early Classical music. In the 1950s, he founded Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the first British early music ensemble to find a large international audience. Marriner has since become one of the most popular conductors ... Read more in Amazon's Sir Neville Marriner Store

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Greenesleeves / Tallis / Lark + Fantasia
Price for both: $20.69

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B000004CVM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,436 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Marriner's evergreen 1972 recording of favorite shorter works by Vaughan Williams has yet to be surpassed for warmth of conception and smoothness of execution. The soloists in these accounts (among them William Bennett in the Greensleeves Fantasia and Iona Brown in the Lark Ascending) are all first-rate, and the Academy's strings play with polish and great beauty of sound. The analog recording is excellent, and Marriner's remarkable empathy for the music comes across effortlessly. Some listeners may prefer the richer sonority and arrestingly mystical manner of Marriner's 1993 digital remake of the Tallis Fantasia for Philips, but this disc offers the most desirable coupling of other works and remains a first choice for those interested in getting to know the composer's finest short essays. --Ted Libbey

Customer Reviews

Ah, the evocative music of Ralph Vaughan Williams.
judson lewis woods
Very lush, sweeping, and beautifully haunting without being mawkish, a must have for a person new to Vaughan Williams work.
paul blanchard
If you love the music of Ralph Vaughn Williams, then I highly recommend this CD!
Robert J. Caskie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 82 people found the following review helpful By ellafan on December 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is the one I fell in love with so many years ago,and it was the first Vaughan Williams CD I purchased.I own everything of his on CD now,but this CD is my favorite.The beauty of "The Lark Ascending" is indescribable.I'll just say that it takes you away to a better,more peaceful time,and no matter how frazzled your nerves are,it will mellow you but good.The Thomas Tallis Fantasia piece is so gorgeous.Listen to the first few bars,and imagine yourself standing next to a ruined castle,the walls encumbered with ivy,the sun filtering through the ruins....That is the effect it has on me every time I listen.The Greensleeves Fantasia is another sumptuous composition,as are the Variants.I think old Ralph(Rafe) was the very best composer for strings.Second would be Delius.
If you fall in love with this CD,I would recommend that you listen to Ralph's "Sinfonia Antartica." Completely unlike anything on this CD,but astounding nevertheless.Really...everything he composed is wonderful,so start with this CD and build yourself a R.V.W. library.
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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By paul blanchard on April 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
A four piece CD that packs an outstanding punch, the first work 'Theme by Thomas Tallis' has one of the top melodies ever written by any composer thus far. Very lush, sweeping, and beautifully haunting without being mawkish, a must have for a person new to Vaughan Williams work.
'Lark Ascending' shows the artistry of Vaughan Williams in displaying the interweaving of textures of violin solo's within the symphony of instruments. Again a very powerful melody blended by the interplay of the symphony and lovely violin solo by Iona Brown.
The other two works on this CD compliment the above mentioned pieces with their stunning richness of full symphonic textures of melodies and movement.
This is a CD one must have who is new or unfamiliar with Vaughan Williams work, I believe it to be one of the best works of any musician.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brianna Neal on November 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Expressive, delicate and profoundly peaceful, this is the quintessential English pastoral music played by the quintessential British chamber orchestra. Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields are the perfect performers of these four works by Ralph Vaughan Williams: "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis", "Fantasia on Greensleeves", "The Lark Ascending" and "Five Variants of 'Dives and Lazarus'". Sweet violin solos, quiet flutes and strings, and wistful reeds evoke images of a quaint, simple countryside that perhaps never was. But this music makes it real, painting a sound picture of quiet, natural beauty without the worldly intrusions of back-breaking physical labor, high taxes and harsh overlords that English farmers of yore would doubtless have had to contend with. Vaughan Williams (b. 1872, d.1958), a collector of folk songs and arranger of Renaissance tunes, waxes nostalgic with these graceful, dignified and superbly subtle compositions, and you will too upon hearing them. Put this recording on at the end of a stressful day, look at something green and alive, and just feel the tension melt away. Vaughan Williams created many intriguing soundscapes, but these four selections have always been my personal favorites.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I have been looking for The Lark Ascending for years and years. I didn't know the name or the artist I could only identify it by sound. I can't believe I have finally found it. I am getting married one day with The Lark Ascending in the background and I will also have it played at my funneral. I love it to death. I would have paid anything to have a copy and now I do. The Lark Ascending takes my mind away to another world and gives me so much peace and joy at the same time. I cried when I finally found the name and was able to purchase a copy of The Lark Ascending. A very special CD for me. The length of The Lark Ascending is great but I could listen to it all day!! Thank you Ralph Vaughan Williams.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful sampler for those new to the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams. This is an analog recording, but the music is impressively warm and lush in keeping with Williams' writing. Especially noteworthy is Iona Brown's violin in "The Lark Ascending": if there's music more beautiful than this, I sure would like to know about it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David A. Baer VINE VOICE on December 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
It is perhaps impossible to hear Vaughan Williams' short works performed more beautifully and unforgettably than in this 1972 ADRM/Argo recording. Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields acquit themselves above reproach. Vaughan Williams - you love him or hate him - must be loved for his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, that haunting and almost religiously uplifting setting of Medieval plainsong that is capable of shifting a driver to the side of the road in open-jawed amazement at the sheer evocative beauty of it.

Greensleeves is emblematic of the English countryside and its melody, easily dismissed as the primped-up stuff of 'Rule Brittania' shops but so much more worthwhile than all that. Iona Brown's violin on 'The Lark Ascending' sounds as though crafted to play this piece once - enduringly- and then tossed like unused Eucharistic wine.

How, one wonders in aesthetic and rationally unguarded moments, could a nation that produced such music have lost an Empire? Or, more accurately, how could a people capable of such lyricism have done otherwise than believed - for an historical blink of an eye - in its own superiority?

That a coterie of *English* musicians should produce the definitive recording of these works is poetically appropriate.

That listeners of many tongues should listen and wonder at Williams' temperamental genius is simply a musical fact on the ground.

Begin Vaughan Williams with this recording. The rest are derivative.
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