The popular overture from Vaughan Williams's incidental music for Aristophanes's The Wasps introduces a suite whose
mischievously witty, noble and farcical movements underline the play's satire of the Athenian legal system. A similar vivacity characterises his English Folksong Suite and The Running Set, where Vaughan Williams relishes setting tunes such as Barrack Hill, Irish Reel, The Blackthorn Stick and Cock o' the North. Folksong-like melodies also feature in his magnificent Piano Concerto, in which the magisterial influence of Bach and Busoni may also be heard.
Is the long all-but-ignored Vaughan Williams Piano Concerto finally attaining popularity? Lang Lang and Herbie Hancock have toured the two-piano version recently, while Ashley Wass revisits his Proms success with this superb recording. He reveals a compelling, fascinating work. -- Gramophone Editor's Choice, December 2009