Magazine article Gramophone

Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony (Symphony No 1)

Magazine article Gramophone

Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony (Symphony No 1)

Article excerpt

Vaughan Williams

A Sea Symphony (Symphony No 1) Katherine Broderick sop Roderick Williams bar Halle Choir; Halle Youth Choir; Schola Cantorum; Ad Solem; Halle Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder Halle (F) CDHLL7542 (70' * DDD * T) Recorded live at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, March 29,2014 and in rehearsal

'Steer for the deep waters only', exhorts the poet in the last movement ('The Explorers') of A Sea Symphony, and that's precisely what Sir Mark Elder and his intrepid Halle forces do here. Make no mistake, Elder presides over a majestic performance, brimful of lofty spectacle, abundant temperament and stunning accomplishment. In both outer movements especially the towering climaxes are built and resolved with unassailable mastery--and I don't think I've ever been more aware just of how touchingly the slow movement's coda foreshadows its counterpart in A London Symphony. Some might conceivably crave fractionally greater bite and thrust in the scherzo, but the gloriously ambitious finale is held together with effortless authority, those sublimely contemplative and illimitably rapt closing pages as full of questing wonder as I can ever recall. …

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