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Which Vaughan Williams Cycle?

  • Boult I (1952-1958)

    Votes: 5 17.2%
  • Boult II (1968-1972)

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • Previn (1968-1972)

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • Rozhdestvensky (1988-1989)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Thompson (1987-1990)

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • Slatkin (1990-1992)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Handley (1986-1993)

    Votes: 8 27.6%
  • Davis (1990-1996)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Haitink (1984-2000)

    Votes: 5 17.2%
  • Bakels/Daniels (1992-2003)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hickox* (1997-2006*/2017)

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Elder (2010-201?)

    Votes: 1 3.4%
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Although I only have Previn and Handley's cycles, I still picked Handley's. Previn has some good stuff in his cycle as well, Handley seems to have an energy and clarity that I find sometimes lacks in Previn's. I will now explore Boult's and Haitinks next to see how I think they fair. I like these polls because they often open me to other interpretations that I might not have tried & often enough, even known about.

V
 

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That is a total misrepresentation as other conductors outside of Britain have conducted RVW. There are recordings by Previn (German), Bernstein (American), Metropolous (Greek), Rozhdestvensky
(Russian), Bekels (Dutch) as well as Stoki (a bit cosmopolitan).
Be that as it may. All I'm saying is that Haitink went out of his way to reinterpret RVW as a 'European' composer. So if you're fed up with tea and crumpets, it might be worth a punt.
 

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I think Previn offers the most consistent cycle overall with Thomson (not Thompson) and Boult on EMI as runner-ups. Previn's 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th are some of the best on record. I cannot understand the praise that the Handley cycle is getting here. I was never thrilled with the audio quality of his cycle and the conducting also doesn't really sweep me away like many others I've heard. Boult's first cycle on Decca was pretty good despite the mono sound. Anyway, as I said, Previn gets my vote.
 

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I voted Boult 1952-1952, especially now that Pristine Classical is releasing the cycle in incredible new remasters.

But that that's a very personal choice based on sentimental and historical reasons, just as much as the excellent performances.

I think I have virtually every available RVW recording available including the most recent ones, but if I were pushed identify a 'recommendation' as per the OP, I'd say:

Tod Handley, with either Haitink or Slatkin as a perfectly acceptable substitute. Previn too :)

P.S. Slatkin was something of a musical anglophile and his William Walton recordings are fabulous.........
 

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About standard (1933/6) version of the 2nd which I rarely listen to, maybe a tossup between Barbirolli & Handley
A London Symphony is said to be RVW's favourite. I don't know the 1936 version, tell us more.
 

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Be that as it may. All I'm saying is that Haitink went out of his way to reinterpret RVW as a 'European' composer. So if you're fed up with tea and crumpets, it might be worth a punt.
I’d hardly rank RVW’s own 4th or Boult’s first cycle as ‘tea and crumpets’. I suggest you listen to them sometime
 
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