Magazine article Gramophone

Vaughan Williams: Symphonies-No 4

Magazine article Gramophone

Vaughan Williams: Symphonies-No 4

Article excerpt

Vaughan Williams

Symphonies--No 4 (a); No 8 (b)

London Philharmonic Orchestra / (b) Vladimir Jurowski, (a) Ryan Wigglesworth

LPO [M] LP00082 (59' * DDD)

Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall, London,

(b) September 24,2008; (a) May 1, 2013

Both conductors--Ryan Wigglesworth (in No 4) and Vladimir Jurowski (No 8)--make a strong case for these symphonies and indeed I can imagine them inter-changing with equal success. Wigglesworth's Fourth arrives with a roar but the outrage is in the remorseless drive; Jurowski suggests parallels with Rachmaninov's The Bells in the tintinnabulations of the Eighth.

I think the fury of the Fourth is more unremitting when the tempi of the outer movements are pushed to the point of recklessness. So many relax into the first movement's second subject, for instance, looking for and finding a degree of relief or solace--but its lyricism is full of anxiety and Wigglesworth lends an air of nervy breathlessness. The second half of the first movement (as indeed the still centre of the finale) evokes a fragile peace and there is an authentic ache in the LPO's string-playing throughout. …

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