Vaughan Williams: Sinfonia Antartica - Davis
Chandos CHSA 5186
Classical - Orchestral
Vaughan Williams: Sinfonia Antartica*, Four Last Songs** (orch. Payne), Piano Concerto*** (arr. composer & Joseph Cooper for 2 pianos)
Mari Eriksmoen* (soprano)
Roderick Williams** (baritone)
Hélène Mercier*** & Louis Lortie*** (pianos)
Bergen Philharmonic Choir*
Edvard Grieg Kor*
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis (conductor)
This is the eagerly awaited final volume in our historic series of Vaughan Williams’s Symphonies, started about twenty-five years ago by the late Richard Hickox, and recently continued by that other expert in British repertoire, Sir Andrew Davis.
The album features an exceptional cast and a rare combination of repertoire. While the indefatigable piano duo Louis Lortie and Hélene Mercier tackle the virtuosic Double Piano Concerto, the baritone Roderick Williams OBE offers breathtaking interpretations of the rarely heard, yet passionate Four Last Songs, in Anthony Payne’s delicate and imaginative orchestration, premiered at the BBC Proms only four years ago. Vaughan Williams based the disc’s centrepiece, the majestic Sinfonia Antartica, on music he had written for the film Scott of the Antarctic only a few years before, stunningly evoking the implacable, frozen landscape of the Antarctic.
All are supported by the impeccable Bergen orchestra and choirs and recorded in surround-sound. This album is a very special one, as is the now complete series.