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4 Oct 2010

Ralph Vaughan Williams conducts... Vaughan Williams. Symphony 4 - BBC Symphony Orchestra - HMV 1937

Ralph Vaughan Williams:  
Symphony no.4 in F minor  (1935)
I: Allegro  ~  II: Andante  ~  III: Scherzo - Allegro molto  ~  IV: Finale con Epilogo Fugato (Allegro molto)
FLAC  Mega Download
BBC Symphony Orchestra  conducted by  The Composer  
EMI World Records   SH 128   Matrices: W 9182 -2 / W 9183 -3  (later re-cut: slightly superior to the original LP issue)
78 Transfer by Anthony Griffith.  Original issue: HMV DB.3367-70.  Recorded: 11 October 1937 -  EMI  Studio 1, Abbey Road.
CHARM. Simon Trezise: "Emotional and musical responses to mutating sound quality in Vaughan Williams’ recording of his Fourth Symphony"
Sleeve-note / 1935 "Times" concert reviews >>>   (+ for Walton: Sinfonia concertante - available in the above "William Walton conducts...." )

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this - and the previous. I have the Boult Symphony 4, will be interested to compare!

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  2. I did read (years back) that the orchestra was 'prepared' by Boult for this recording; so if you compare it to the EMI /NPO (which I've not listened to for years) it might be rather faster - not sure, either, about the mono Decca /LPO speeds.. There was an interesting CHARM 'treatise' on pdf - which I can no longer locate on the web - which suggested this A C Griffith's transfer (possibly from Vinyl copies of metalwork) was the most 'realistic' available - so thought it worthwhile to upload, especially as the later transfer onto LP (Feb 1988 Gramophone review) stated the sound had become inferior to the WRC LP...this transfer has slightly greater dynamic-range compared to the original WRC transfer

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  3. Well, of course, the BBC SO *was* Boult's orchestra and he had given the premiere - and "created" the slow movement, according to RVW.

    OTOH, NO other performance I've ever heard (and I think I have almost every studio version and a few others) comes close to this. Even the more obviously fiery conductors (Mitropoulos, Bernstein, Berglund) pale next to this.

    I believe it was during the sessions for this recording that RVW made his famous "I don't know if I like it, but it's what I meant" remark - and I can just picture him dropping that into a stunned silence in Abbey Road after the closing chords.

    This is, simply and IMHO, one of the most electrifyingly intense recording of anything, byu anyone, ever.

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  4. I've added the 'Times' review of the first two performances (Boult/BBC SO - 10 April 1935 & 20 Nov 1935).

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  5. Almost forgot you had made this available also.. interestingly different from Boult's account!

    Thank you..

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