- Performer: Norma Burrowes
- Orchestra: London Philharmonic Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra
- Conductor: John Alldis, Adrian Boult
- Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams
- Audio CD (October 11, 1991)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: EMI Classics
- ASIN: B000002S2Q
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,608 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Vaughan Williams: Sinfonia Antartica/The Wasps
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Top Customer Reviews
The thematic concept foreshadows the resurgence of spirit previously seen and heard in the film 'Scott of the Antarctic' and its music. Therefore, the symphony has much of a motion picture, "soundtrack-like" temperament ; still, the symphonic form stands as the core of this huge work. There is no denying of the composer's mastery of form and harmonic coloring for, as orchestral parts should go, this symphony is every bit as much efficient as his best film scores. Interpretation can do the difference, however, with more or less of a "straight" symphonic approach or within the confines of a "cinemascopic treatment"--variable from one conductor/orchestra to another. Which is exactly why one can guess, even without knowing the roots of the symphony in the first place, that it all was strongly built on music for a motion picture.Read more ›
Boult concentrates on its worth as a symphony. A highly original one with experiments in sound that look well ahead to what came a decade and more later. Am I alone in hearing touches that avant-gardists like Ligeti worked further in the 1960s? The quiet introduction and closing solos of the central landscape movement over the tonal clusters of strings, woodwind, harp and the like? After getting the 'big' parts of this work into perspective, I find it's the startling, quiet, background tensions that point this music forward.
An unparalleled feat perhaps from a great composer getting greater as he grew older.
Quite remarkable invention with wonderful freshness from a man born in 1873! With that looking forward, whilst not forgetting what looks back, that is the hallmark of this 20th century great.
Now, as to the recording at hand, there is no narrator (the presence of which was always optional), so that problem is avoided -- and the decade-and-a-half advance in recording technology does give this recording an edge over its predecessor on purely technical grounds -- that said, it is not as overwhelmingly dark and brooding a performance as the earlier recording, though given the music itself, one would be hard-put to say that it's in any way "light."
What this CD does offer, however, without any equivocation is a still-unique recording of the five-movement suite from "The Wasps" -- a much more light-hearted piece from four decades or more earlier in the composer's life, "The Wasps" would seem to be a strange pairing with Antartica (it was originally the fourth LP side of the more closely chronologically related Sea Symphony), yet the two have been joined at the hip in various EMI incarnations for more than two decades.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Vaughan Williams is a boss composer. His Seventh symphony is one of the eeriest pieces of music I've ever heard. The wordless chorus is a cool musical technique as well. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Matthew Tadyshak
This is my favorite interpretation of Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 7, at least on most days. Although Haitink's is compelling, I'm unfortunately put off by, of all things, the... Read morePublished on February 27, 2014 by J. R. Trtek
If you only like quiet, peaceful classical music, look elsewhere, because the Sinfonia Antartica will knock your socks off-literally. Read morePublished on July 13, 2008 by Emily
RVW used a wind machine in this symphony,the first time he ever used any such thing in any of his compositions.That's great for a novelty,but in his hands,it's genius. Read morePublished on December 29, 2004 by ellafan
I was filled with emotional upon listening to Williams, "The Wasps". I can trully attest that this is one of R.V. Williams greatest achievments. Read morePublished on July 27, 2001 by Doug Emmett