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Vaughan Williams: Norfolk Rhapsodies, Variations for Orchestra, The Blue Bird - Yates

Vaughan Williams: Norfolk Rhapsodies, Variations for Orchestra, The Blue Bird - Yates

Dutton  CDLX 7351

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Ralph Vaughan Williams: Norfolk Rhapsodies, Variations for Orchestra, The Blue Bird, Music for an EFDS Masque, Christmas Overture
David Matthews: Norfolk March

Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Martin Yates (conductor)

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Comment by hiredfox - October 25, 2018 (1 of 7)

Something old; something new; something borrowed; something Blue. An appropriate description of this lovely collection of works played beautifully. Several world premier recordings on this disc including the Matthews piece "Norfolk March" and notably and in my view the stand-out work "Blue Bird".

Written in 1913 as incidental music for Maurice Maeterlinck's play of the same name but neither published nor apparently used, the music has the form of a series of catchy folk dances. The incidental music for the London stage production of "Blue Bird" was most likely written by the stage manager of the Haymarket Theatre at the time! There is no record of why V-W was not invited to provide the music.

The familiar house sound of Dutton characterises the recording. I would have liked a little more detail and precision within the body of the orchestra to improve instrumental positioning but the sound stage is broad and of good depth. Violins are a little subdued. It would be interesting to hear from Dutton how the stereo layer is derived, separate mic's?

For collector's of V-W's works this is a must if only for completeness.

Comment by William Hecht - October 25, 2018 (2 of 7)

Another fine disc from Dutton. You've really got to love Martin Yates. The mc sound is somewhat on the immersive side, harps particularly tend to show up in the left rear but the music is so enjoyable who cares?

Comment by hiredfox - October 26, 2018 (3 of 7)

Dutton's contract with the RSNO & Martin Yates was a very smart move. Linn's dreadful decision to pull the plug on SACD might otherwise have cost us the chance to hear this fine ensemble.

Comment by hiredfox - November 4, 2018 (4 of 7)

Bill any views on the new Ireland disc?

Comment by breydon_music - November 5, 2018 (5 of 7)

Sorry not Bill, but on the basis that you enjoyed the VW and the Elgar I don't think you should hesitate. Yates' symphonic orchestration of the Downland Suite is superb, and the other 2 pieces, given that they are theatre and film scores rather than purpose-made suites, work excellently too. The whole disc is well up to the standard of the old Lyrita Ireland discs and of course benefits from more modern recording and hi-rez. I'm not sure I don't find it a slightly more enjoyable disc even than the VW, but you may not concur quite with that given your reaction to the latter. But buy it anyway - you won't be disappointed!

Comment by William Hecht - November 5, 2018 (6 of 7)

HiJohn,
I agree that the Downland Suite is wonderful music, lovingly performed, and I would say the Overlanders is very close, especially given its film score source. However the Julius Caesar incidental music requires a great deal more affection for martial music than I can summon up. Recordings are up to the excellent standard of the house though the rear channels are very active in the theater and film music. I have been very happy with everything I've bought from Dutton with the exception of the Havergal Brian discs. Try as I might I cannot develop any rapport with his music (I'm deaf to Bruckner, too).
Bill

Comment by hiredfox - November 6, 2018 (7 of 7)

Thank you Gentlemen for your encouraging comments.