Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music (orchestral version); Oboe Concerto; The Lark Ascending; Five Mystical Songs; Concerto accademico

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COMPOSERS: Vaughan Williams
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Serenade to Music (orchestral version); Oboe Concerto; The Lark Ascending; Five Mystical Songs; Concerto accademico
PERFORMER: Bradley Creswick (violin), Roger Winfield (oboe), Stephen Roberts (baritone); Sinfonia Chorus, Northern Sinfonia of England/Richard Hickox
CATALOGUE NO: CZS 5 73986 2 Reissue (1984-88)
Richard Hickox’s affection for Vaughan Williams’s music suffuses this generous compilation of his Eighties recordings with the Northern Sinfonia. The Sinfonia’s leader Bradley Creswick is eloquent in The Lark Ascending, the un-academic Concerto and the disconcerting orchestra-only version of the Serenade to Music; and he shines as the ‘fiddlers three’ in the rare Old King Cole ballet music. Roger Winfield’s reedy English tones suit the Oboe Concerto well; Stephen Roberts is ardent (if distantly recorded) in the Five Mystical Songs. But the orchestral pieces are equally enjoyable: tuneful overtures, exquisite hymn-tune preludes, rumbustious folk dances, and a radiant Dives and Lazarus. Anthony Burton

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