Banner: The Hope for brass band, organ, choir, and percussion

Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Vaughan Williams' First Symphony

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Secunderabad, India
    Posts
    541

    Default Vaughan Williams' First Symphony

    Today, I heard for the first time Ralph Vaughan Williams' First Symphony. This is a choral symphony ; his longest. It was started in 1903 and took him six years to complete it. He was 30 when he began sketching it. This is one of the first symphonies where a choir is used throughout the symphony. It set the stage for choral symphonic music in England in the first half of the twentieth century.It was first titled 'Ocean'. It was first performed at the Leeds Festival in 1910 with Vaughan Williams conducting. Like Brahms, Vaughan Williams delayed a bit before embarking on his first symphony and it was a project on a grand scale. The text of this symphony comes from Walt Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass'.

    This symphony has two strong unifying motives declared in the first movement 'Song of the Exposition' or 'Song for All Seas, All Ships' (Andante Maestoso). The first is the harmonic motif of two chords whose roots are a third apart. The brass fanfare opens the symphony with a B Flat Minor chord followed by the choir singing, "Behold, the sea itself!" The full orchestra then comes in and the theme modulates into D Major. The second motif is a melodic figure juxtaposing duplets and triplets (one-two and three-two-three-four) showing that the second beat is divided into eighth notes and the third beat is divided into triplets.

    The performance I was hearing today was by the London Symphony and choir directed by Andre Previn. He is good. The 1970 recording still sounds good.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Conor71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    3,135

    Default

    RVW's 1st, "A Sea Symphony", is an awesome work, I would even go as far as to say it's one of my favourite Symphonies.
    I have 3 versions of this work: Haitink/LPO, Boult/LPO and Handley/RLPO with the Boult recording being my current favourite version.
    I find this Symphony quite stirring and really enjoy the lyrical content by Walt Whitman - thanks for starting a thread about this work .

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    This is a great symphony. I have 8 versions of it:

    Boult/LPO
    Previn/LSO
    Handley/RLPO
    Spano/ASO
    Daniel/BSO
    Haitink/LPO
    Slatkin/POL
    Davis/BBCSO

    All are great versions and offer a unique glimpse into this fantastic piece.

  4. #4
    Vic
    Vic is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    31

    Default

    If you say Boult/LPO is this the boxset with Sheila Armstrong and John Carol Case (EMI) or the one with Isobel Baille (Decca)?
    Thanks

  5. #5
    Senior Member Conor71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    3,135

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vic View Post
    If you say Boult/LPO is this the boxset with Sheila Armstrong and John Carol Case (EMI) or the one with Isobel Baille (Decca)?
    Thanks
    The one I own is the Stereo version with Sheila Armstrong & John Carol Case and is part of the EMI boxset - It is an excellent set! .

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    I've got 9 versions now:

    Boult/LPO
    Previn/LSO
    Handley/RLPO
    Spano/ASO
    Daniel/BSO
    Haitink/LPO
    Slatkin/POL
    Davis/BBCSO
    Thomson/LSO

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    southeastern US
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Tahnak,
    Sorry about posting to an old thread...

    That stunning tonal shift at the beginning of the first movement was a revision. Earlier drafts started out in an unambiguous D Major. Impressive, but not transcendent.

    I've been a chorister in a performance of the piece. It's a FUN sing!

    I most often listen to Handley, Thomson, Boult (2), Spano.
    Last edited by Orgelbear; Feb-28-2010 at 04:08.

Similar Threads

  1. Another list of Mahler Symphonies
    By jamzky in forum Recorded Music and Publications
    Replies: 53
    Last Post: Apr-22-2014, 01:40
  2. My Classical Collection - Updated
    By Mirror Image in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: Dec-23-2010, 19:40
  3. My Classical Collection - Updated 6-13-09
    By Mirror Image in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: Aug-09-2010, 17:27
  4. My Classical Collection - Updated
    By JTech82 in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: Apr-10-2009, 05:53
  5. Here Is My Classical Music Collection
    By JTech82 in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Mar-15-2009, 21:17

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •