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  • Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia & Barber: Adagio
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Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia & Barber: Adagio

27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 9, 2006
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Audio, Cassette, January 14, 1993
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$10.32 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia & Barber: Adagio + Williams: Greensleeves / Tallis / Lark
Price for both: $20.78

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1. Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis
2. Gymnopedie
3. Gymnopedie
4. Adagio For Strings
5. Pavane
6. Irish Tune From County Derry (Danny Boy)

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Composer: Samuel Barber, Percy Grainger, Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Audio CD (July 9, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CSO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,237 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Gregory M. Zinkl on July 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
St. Louis Symphony, as built by Slatkin (and his predecessors, too!), is a gorgeous instrument, no matter how you look at it. It has a tone all of it's own; and no, it isn't Vienna or Berlin or Stoki/Ormandy's Philly. But what this orchestra manages to do is play with Szell-like precision with lush, silky strings and beautiful brass and woodwinds. There are some outstanding soloists in the woodwinds and brass: Silfies on clarinet and Slaughter on trumpet come immediately to mind. And the orchestra seems to have always been blessed by world-class concertmasters.
But you're probably reading this to learn about the music. Slatkin has had at least two recorded outings on the Vaughn-Williams (the other with the equally beautiful Philharmonia); this is the one to have. The players sound committed, the conducting lets the music breathe and it has a soul. Slatkin's Philharmonia try was a beautiful, emotionless jewel--served under glass. The only recording I know to top this one is Ormandy's breathtaking outing on Sony.
This is one of three recorded performances of Barber's great Adagio. This one is beautifully played...but it's too fast for me; his EMI Barber disc is the one to have.
The Pavane perhaps lacks a little bit in the overt drama that can sometimes be found in this work; but this interpretation of quiet, beautifuly lushness will do just fine.
The Grainger and the Satie are quiet, beautiful lollipops played to perfection. There isn't really a lot of room for interpretation, and Slatkin presents the music thankfully at face value.
The engineering is very good, catching the beauty of the strings and plenty of the Powell Symphony Hall ambience. A quick look at recording dates makes you wonder if the orchestra recorded these pieces mostly for fun: they were recording Mahler during the same period!
My only complaint about this disc is that it's too short!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Longest River on July 31, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This CD contains very well played pieces by several well known composers. However, the main reason I got this CD was for Vaughn Williams "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis". Mr Slatkin's interpretation is by far my favorite of this masterpiece composition. It is well controlled and the climactic point of this piece is given room/time to breath and express itself. Very nicely done.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cade on August 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While I agree with the comments made by Maxwell Johnson regarding the Satie and Barber performances on this CD, I cannot do without this version of Vaughan Williams's Fantasia. It is by far the finest, most thoughtful and most moving rendition I've heard. Sure, the recording quality could be better. However, I have three other better quality recordings of this piece, and the performances are all unlistenable after having my discovery this particular one. I suspect to someone who is more accustomed to hearing a conductor rush through this piece, usually out of fear it'll come across ponderous and tedious, this performance may sound sluggish. But this rendition is truly more fitting for Vaughan Wiilliams, who can be a bit more indulgent for more impatient listeners, and also for Thomas Tallis, whose brilliant theme deserves to be relished thoroughly, istead of merely glanced at in passing on a hurried way to the end.

The other thing is I find the woodwind performance on the Faure to be excellant, and seeing this piece is usually recorded as the choral version, thus the voices obscure Faure's gorgeous woodwind orchestration, this is a rare delight.

I am happy this CD is still available, despite it's drawbacks. While I doubt I'll ever like the Satie pieces on this (they are rather lifeless), I can enjoy the Barber despite the performance's flaws (it's an overrated piece anyhow). Regardless, I just consider those extra tracks to the Vaughan Williams and Faure, which make this CD worth my money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Trimble on August 19, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favorite CDs. Being a cellist and particularly susceptible to melancholy music anyway, this CD is like catnip to me. I've performed the Tallis Fantasia and bought and listened to numerous performances of it- including the Penguin Guide's top recommendation- but no performance I've ever heard comes anywhere close to this one in terms of ensemble playing, musical conviction and overall impact.

The more Slatkin/St. Louis recordings I hear, the more impressed I am with how well this orchestra plays together. I can only compare them to Chanticleer; they breathe together, listen constantly, weave their lines in and out with sensitivity and precision, start and stop together, and their timing is impeccable. In a piece like the Tallis Fantasia, which in lesser hands can easily degenerate into blurred lines and confusing-sounding "busywork" the ability to play together- really together- is indispensable. And what they do here is stunning.

I actually found this CD when looking for their performance of Londonderry Air (Danny Boy), which I had heard on the radio. When I found that piece on this CD, accompanied by other truly moving performances, I was ecstatic. This CD will hold a place of honor in my collection for a long, long time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jerome Bush on July 23, 2009
Format: Audio CD
In the 80s, I was pretty much a rock-n-roll fan. I am a rock and jazz drummer, but one day, one of my friends said that a musician needed a well-rounded appreciation for all music: including classical. I forget the name of the music magazine, but it had a list of the most beautiful classical CDs, and number one was Slatkin's direction of songs by Vaughn Williams, Thomas Tallis, Barber's Adagio for Strings, Granger's Danny Boy, Satie's lovely Gymnopedies 1 and 2, and Faure's Pavane, On Telarc.

I was hooked from the beginning. I always thought of classical as the 1812 Overture and Beethoven's Fifth, but these songs were celestial. Every single selection! And Telarc Digital? These are the guys that put warnings on CDs: warning us to watch the bass settings because the reproduction might ruin those speakers. Fantastic sound!

If you've never liked classical, try this CD. It just might change your musical life forever.
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