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Thread: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis

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    Default Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis

    Thomas Tallis wrote a beautiful hymnal that was expressively squeezed by Ralph Vaughan Williams in this extra ordinary Fantasia. After listening to this several times, I feel it is perhaps the greatest work written by Vaughan Williams.

    A superb rendition by the rich Philadelphia strings under Eugene Ormandy



    Few years back, this Fantasia was brilliantly used in a film called `Master and Commander'. I still remember those gigantic waves and currents of the sea when this was used in the background.

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    Great work, it has this spiritual and mystical quality. Also very innovative, in that RVW was translating the sounds of Renaissance choral music into chamber music, these sounds had not been heard in the concert hall before. What was later derided as cowpat pastoralism by some did not start off as being cliched, but it was just as fresh and new as the more startling modernist music going on in the early 20th century. Indeed, I wonder how the first audience reacted when listening to this work.

    In a nutshell, it's the finest work for string orchestra, or nearest to that we can have. Of course, the Brits did some great music in this genre, eg. Elgar's Sospiri & Serenade, Tippett's Concerto for Double String Orchestra, Warlock's Capriol Suite and Britten's Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. But The Tallis Fantasia was the one that made a really big splash.
    Last edited by Sid James; Jun-06-2012 at 08:48.

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    Yes it is one of the best and most timeless works for strings there is. I own several recordings; including one from the allegedly perfection-seeking Telarc, where you can actually hear the conductor Slatkin singing along with the playing.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Jun-06-2012 at 08:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joen_cph View Post
    Yes it is one of the best and most timeless works for strings there is. I own several recordings; including one from the allegedly perfection-seeking Telarc, where you can actually hear the conductor Slatkin singing along with the playing.
    I wonder if he did that ('singing along with the playing') with Dame Evelyn Elizabeth Ann Glennie? Just kidding.

    My two favorite recordings of "Tallis" are with Boughton and Glorious John.

    Attachment 5459Attachment 5460

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid James View Post
    Of course, the Brits did some great music in this genre....Britten's Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge
    Ooooh, now you're talkin'.

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