Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 6; On Wenlock Edge; In the Fen Country

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Vaughan Williams
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Symphony No. 6; On Wenlock Edge; In the Fen Country
PERFORMER: Ian Bostridge (tenor); LPO/Bernard Haitink
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 5 56762 2
Much of the tranquil, mystical material of RVW’s Fifth Symphony is taken from his opera based on Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, which also influenced most of the other sublime liturgical works on this CD. Hickox delivers a glorious, ecstatic performance of the symphony, its ebb and flow beautifully direct, the music often seeming to float ethereally. The scherzo has great finesse and the lovely Romanza movement is deeply affecting. Although not quite eclipsing the classic Barbirolli and the much admired Handley performances (both EMI), this is a front-ranking reading. The radiant setting of the 23rd Psalm shares this same serene quality.

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