Vaughan Wiliams/Elgar/Tippett

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COMPOSERS: Vaughan Wiliams/Elgar/Tippett
LABELS: ASV
WORKS: The Lark Ascending; Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; Serenade for Strings; Fantasia concertante on a Theme of Corelli
PERFORMER: Iona Brown, Malcolm Latchem, Kenneth Sillito (violin), Stephen Shingles (viola), Denis Vigay (cello)Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 518 DDD (1983)
The highlight of this collection, featuring masterpieces of English music for strings, is undoubtedly Iona Brown’s performance of Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending. The sensitivity of her tone and phrasing are remarkable, and Marriner’s accompaniment is beautifully judged, especially in matters of balance. Less rewarding, however, is the Tallis Fantasia, which lacks the rich-toned intensity and atmosphere that, say, Barbirolli brings to this music. Elgar’s Serenade, while beautifully played, could be more subtle in its characterisation; but Tippett’s great Corelli Fantasia is simply glorious, the sonority of the fully scored sections offset by a solo group of the highest quality. Terry Barfoot

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