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- Released: April 24, 2007
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Telarc
- 1.Why Fun'th In Fight?
- 2.Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis
- 3.Preludio: Moderato
- 4.Scherzo: Presto
- 5.Romanza: Lento
- 6.Passacaglia: Moderato
- 7.Serenade To Music
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
In 2003, Robert Spano and the ASO won three GRAMMY awards for Vaughan Williams' "A Sea Symphony" (Best Classical Album, Best Choral performance and Best Classical Engineered Album). The album was hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as "...one of the most distinctive recordings ..." and the Symphony Magazine called the ASO Chorus' command of Vaughan William's fascinating and varied choral effects "...simply spectacular."
The critical acclaim is likely to continue for this new recording of Vaughan Williams' music. Anchoring this brilliant disc is the composer's peaceful Symphony No. 5 which was first heard in 1943 in the midst of World War II. A departure from his angry and strident Fourth Symphony, Symphony No. 5 was welcomed as an island of serenity in a time of great uncertainty.
Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis is considered by many to be the composer's first indisputable masterpiece and has been featured in several films, including Remando al viento in 1988 with Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World in 2003 with Russell Crowe.
Opening the disc is the Elizabethan church composer Thomas Tallis' four-part a cappella hymn "Why fum'th in fight," a paraphrase of Psalm 2 "Why do the nations rage?" which is one of nine Psalm settings by Tallis. This tune is the basis for Vaughan Williams' Fantasia.
The composer's Serenade to Music has been called one of the most sublime musical creations of the 20th century. Set to the final scene of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, it was originally created for 16 soloists, but the composer designed the work so that it could also be performed by four soloists and chorus. This work was composed for and dedicated to Sir Henry Wood - who instituted London's Promenade Concerts - in celebration of his 50th anniversary as a conductor.