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  • Vaughan Williams - Sir John in Love / Hickox, Northern Sinfonia
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Vaughan Williams - Sir John in Love / Hickox, Northern Sinfonia


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Audio CD, July 24, 2001
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Editorial Reviews


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Sir John in Love: Act I: Orchestral introduction - What hoa, what hoa! (Shallow, Sir Hugh Evans)Richard Hickox 6:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Sir John in Love: Act I: Ahem (Anne Page)Roderick Williams 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Sir John in Love: Act I: This is my father's choice (Anne Page)Richard Hickox 8:02Album Only
listen  4. Sir John in Love: Act I: How now, what does Master Fenton here? (Page)Roderick Williams 1:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sir John in Love: Act I: Vere is dat knave Rugby? (Dr. Caius)Richard Hickox 6:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Sir John in Love: Act I: EpisodeDaniel Norman 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Sir John in Love: Act I: How now, mine Host of the Garter (Bardolph, Nym, Pistol)Richard Hickox 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Sir John in Love: Act I: I spy entertainment in her ? (Sir John Falstaff)Daniel Norman 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Sir John in Love: Act I: Wilt thou revenge ? ? (Pistol)Richard Hickox 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Sir John in Love: Act I: Love my wife? I will be patient (Ford)Daniel Norman 3:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Sir John in Love: Act II Scene 1: Orchestral introductionRichard Hickox 6:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Sir John in Love: Act II Scene 1: Thine own true knight (Mrs. Page) - Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more (Mrs. Quickly)Daniel Norman 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Sir John in Love: Act II Scene 2: Bardolph! Bardolph, I say! (Sir John Falstaff)Richard Hickox 5:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Sir John in Love: Act II Scene 2: Go thy ways, go thy ways, old Jack! (Sir John Falstaff)Daniel Norman 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Sir John in Love: Act II Scene 2: Sir, my name is Brook (Ford)Richard Hickox 5:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Sir John in Love: Act II Scene 2: Ha, is this a vision? (Ford)Daniel Norman 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 1: Interlude: Orchestral introduction - Yet hear me speak (Fenton)Richard Hickox 5:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 1: Interlude: Fair and fair and twice so fair (Chorus of Young Women)Daniel Norman 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 1: Interlude: But listen, good mine Host (Anne Page)Richard Hickox 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 2: Orchestral introduction - When as we sat in Papylon (Sir Hugh Evans)Roderick Williams 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 2: Yonder he's coming (Peter Simple)Richard Hickox 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 2: Come, Master Ford (Page)Roderick Williams 1:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 2: Orchestral introductionRichard Hickox 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 3: What, John! What, Robert! (Mrs. Ford) - Alas, my love, you do me wrong (Mrs. Ford)Roderick Williams 2:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 3: Mistress Ford! (Mrs. Quickly)Richard Hickox 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Sir John in Love: Act III Scene 3: Ah! (Ford, Chorus of Men)Roderick Williams 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Sir John in Love: Act IV: Orchestral introductionRichard Hickox 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 1: : Pardon me, wife (Ford) - There is an old tale that goes Herne the hunter (Mrs. Page)Roderick Williams 6:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 1: (Interlude)Richard Hickox 2:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 2: Orchestral introductionRoderick Williams 1:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 2: The Windsor bell hath struck 12 (Sir John Falstaff)Richard Hickox 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 2: Ah - (Mrs Ford) - Who comes here? (Sir John Falstaff)Daniel Norman 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 2: But till 'tis 1 o'clock (Mrs. Qucikly)Richard Hickox0:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 2: Dance of the FairiesDaniel Norman 1:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 2: But stay! I smell a man of middle earth (Sir Hugh Evans)Richard Hickox 2:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 2: Nay, do not fly (Page)Roderick Williams 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 2: My heart misgives me (Mrs. Page)Richard Hickox 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Sir John in Love: Act IV Scene 2: Stand not amazed (Sir John Falstaff)Daniel Norman 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Richard Hickox, Anne-Marie Owens, Sarah Connolly, Northern Sinfonia and Chorus, et al.
  • Audio CD (July 24, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B00005M0ER
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,647 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
38%
4 star
50%
3 star
13%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 8 customer reviews
Those are all VW originals and great ones, to boot.
Klingsor Tristan
If you are on the lookout for gorgeous atmospheres, evocative pastoral scenes and utterly charming music, Vaughan Williams's Sir John in Love offers it abundantly.
G.D.
The work is, of course, lovely but if the ear is fatigued by the sound the myriad beauties cannot make their full effect.
Corno di Bass Trombono

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ahmed E. Ismail on July 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Vaughan Williams's comic "Sir John in Love" is one of those true opera rarities--an opera whose highlights become more impressive as the music progresses. Indeed, the true highlight of this opera is its final "Windsor Forest" scene in Act IV, where all the action is resolved, and everyone gets their "just desserts."
If this were the first recording of the opera available, it would be easy to recommend it to any VW (or opera!) enthusiast--the orchestral details are abundant and vividly present, the choral contribution is alive and infectious, and the vocal parts are well-presented and clear. However, there is in additional recording, in EMI's British Composer series, conducted by Meredith Davies. While many comparisons are stacked in the new version's favor, there are a few shortcomings that prevent an absolute recommendation.
Where Hickox succeeds over Davies is particularly in the portrayal of Anne Page and her several suitors. Susan Gritton sings more effectively than Wendy Eathorne, while both Daniel Norman (Slender) and Adrian Thompson (Caius) seem more plausible as suitors than Bernard Dickerson and Gerald English, respectively--although overall English makes a more vivid Caius. However, there is no question that Mark Padmore is the better Fenton: as well as Robert Tear sings for Davies, I can't shake the impression that he is wooing an Amazon, and not the girl-next-door Anne.
While the supporting cast is marginally to markedly superior for Hickox, with the Fords and Pages are fairly evenly matched between the two performances, the one clear victory of the Davies version is a significant one. As the title character, Donald Maxwell's Falstaff is no match for Raimund Herincx, either in characterization or in vocal quality.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Corno di Bass Trombono on August 4, 2001
Format: Audio CD
While I generally agree with the review of Ahmed Ismael, I must give the nod to the earlier EMI recording, which has greater depth and spread to the sound. Chandos engineers have practically placed the voices in our laps with a resultant loss of orchestral detail. The work is, of course, lovely but if the ear is fatigued by the sound the myriad beauties cannot make their full effect. If one adds to this the fact that the EMI is a midprice reissue the choice becomes even more clear. Bravo to Hickox and company but no standing ovation this time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Klingsor Tristan on August 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Boito took Shakespeare's Merry Wives, added a little Henry IV (e.g. the Honour Monologue) and shaped, moulded and cut them about to make a libretto that focused tightly on the Fat Knight and was absolutely perfect for what Verdi wanted. Out of it came one of the greatest of all comic operas.

With VW, you get something much closer to the Shakespearean original, teeming with richly drawn characters and all the variety of Elizabethan/Jacobean life bustling past. Falstaff is merely the primus inter pares among them, albeit a huge one. Out of it came a great comic opera. And one that has been too seldom performed, standing in the long shadow of its predecessor.

Vaughan Williams, who was a great admirer of the Verdi piece, knew that comparisons would inevitably be made. (He would also have included his friend, Holst's, At the Boar's Head as a real rival from the Falstaff canon.) But comparisons are invidious. The VW and the Verdi operas are not comparable, either in their intentions or in their music. And both should be allowed to co-exist happily as companion pieces, not as rivals as two great comic operas we're fortunate to have.

Perhaps I protest too much. But the Vaughan Williams is such invigorating, life-enhancing, often ravishingly beautiful stuff that I'd hate to see it slip off the end of the shelf. Verdi is lauded as the great tunesmith, but how many tunes from Falstaff can you recall - Nanetta's last act aria, perhaps, a couple of snippets of Fenton, the final fugue maybe, or Sir John's 'Quand'ero paggio' which is so brief an aria that its original singer had to record it three times in succession to fill a 78 side. Perhaps that's why Falstaff is so badly represented on 78's compared to the other mature Verdi operas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G.D. TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 31, 2010
Format: Audio CD
If you are on the lookout for gorgeous atmospheres, evocative pastoral scenes and utterly charming music, Vaughan Williams's Sir John in Love offers it abundantly. The music is skillfully and inventively written, rich with melody and constructed with no mean sense of musical pacing (although hardly dramatic pacing). The choral scenes are particularly wonderful, the Greensleeves setting a given and the madrigal settings truly attractive - even some of the arias are magnificent and the big scenes impressive.

However, Vaughan Williams take on Falstaff doesn't compare that well to Verdi's - not that the works are very comparable in many senses; still, it is rather striking how dramatically flat Vaughan Williams's take is in comparison. The lack of drama and wit is, however, the one real objection to Vaughan Williams's otherwise very charming score (though it is a rather major objection) - it is also interesting that the lack of drama, and also wit and sparkle, is partially due to the fact that Vaughan Williams tried to stay much closer to Shakespeare; that makes for a rather disconnected and unwieldy opera, something Arrigo Boito (for Verdi) obviously understood to the extent that he managed to turn one of the greatest plays written into perhaps the best opera libretto ever penned.

In any case, the performances here generally do the work justice. Donald Maxwell's Falstaff is well-characterized (which is indeed important) and Mark Padmore's Fenton is very good. But while Adrian Thomson's Dr. Caius/Shallow is decently sung (though he is prone to distortion; seemingly intentionally, but it is a questionable interpretative choice), he is short on humor. Matthew Best is a fair Ford, but the performance is under-characterized and even the singing is sometimes flat.
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Vaughan Williams - Sir John in Love / Hickox, Northern Sinfonia
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