Vaughan Williams: Job; The Lark Ascending

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COMPOSERS: Vaughan Williams
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Job; The Lark Ascending
PERFORMER: David Greed (violin); English Northern Philharmonia/David Lloyd-Jones
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553955
Vaughan Williams’s Job works equally well as a symphonic work for the concert hall as dance drama for the theatre. Blake’s watercolours for the Book of Job proved a potent biblical inspiration; so too did the Elizabethan and Jacobean dance forms – the sarabande, minuet, pavane and galliard. Job’s pastoral life, Satan’s machinations and Heavenly glories are all defined in the music. Lloyd-Jones directs a powerful yet supple and flowing performance that approaches the authority that Boult used to bring to the work (Boult was the score’s dedicatee and his 1970 EMI recording is scheduled for reissue next year). Lloyd-Jones’s portrayal of Satan and his claim to victory is quite terrifying in its impact.

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The Lark Ascending is warmly and lovingly portrayed by violin soloist David Greed. Lloyd-Jones’s accompaniment speaks of peace and stillness and he thoughtfully does not allow the more bucolic folk music to become so brash that it intrudes on this mood; rather, he integrates it smoothly and seamlessly. Ian Lace