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Williams: Sinfonia Antartica / 5 Variants of Dives & Lazarus

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 13, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

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Vaughan Williams's Seventh Symphony began life as a film score to Scott of the Antarctic (how the symphony lost the "c" in "Antarctic" not even the composer could fully explain). The movie describes Scott's ill-fated expedition in which everyone perishes during a blizzard, literally yards away from safety. To describe man's struggle against the hostile elements, the composer has recourse to a hefty battalion of percussion (including vibraphone), piano, organ, wind machine, and wordless female soloist and chorus. It's an incredible piece of writing, perhaps closest in spirit to Holst's The Planets--both pieces describe alien, hostile environments, after all. It sounds spectacular in this recording. --David Hurwitz

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Quick March-Sea Songs
  2. Five Vars Of 'Dives And Lazarus': Theme (Adagio)
  3. Five Vars Of 'Dives And Lazarus': Var I
  4. Five Vars Of 'Dives And Lazarus': Var II
  5. Five Vars Of 'Dives And Lazarus': Var III
  6. Five Vars Of 'Dives And Lazarus': Var IV
  7. Five Vars Of 'Dives And Lazarus': Var V
  8. Sinf Antartica (Sym No.7): Prld (Andante Maestoso) - Linda Hohenfeld/Women Of The Philharmonia Chor
  9. Sinf Antartica (Sym No.7): Scherzo (Moderato) - Linda Hohenfeld/Women Of The Philharmonia Chor
  10. Sinf Antartica (Sym No.7): Landscape (Lento) - Linda Hohenfeld/Women Of The Philharmonia Chor/Leslie Pearson
  11. Sinf Antartica (Sym No.7): Intermezzo (Andante Sostenuto) - Linda Hohenfeld/Women Of The Philharmonia Chor/John Anderson
  12. Sinf Antartica (Sym No.7): Epilogue. Alla Marcia, Moderato (Non Troppo Allegro) - Linda Hohenfeld/Women Of The Philharmonia Chor


Product Details

  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Audio CD (July 13, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA Legacy
  • ASIN: B000003F9Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,329 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

The title piece of this CD is the epitome of a composition that attempts to evoke a visceral response by careful control of the score. One can almost develop frostbite just listening. The cold, blue-white texture of the music is wonderful. The sea songs have an almost-authentic air that causes one to think of rolling decks and sea-spray dampened canvas. Good art.
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This is probably not the most moving performance of the 5 Variants od Dives and Lazarus but it captures the general essence of the work.
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My only quibble is about the 5-note trumpet motif in the scherzo movement. Slatkin rushed it. I'm referring to the same motif that's later taken up by the loud organ in the LANDSCAPE section.
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