From the Archive: Vaughan Williams Symphony No.8
To celebrate the recent release of the latest recording on the Hallé label, Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 and 8, we delve once more into the Hallé Archive.
The world premiere of Vaughan Williams’ Symphony in D minor, later known as Symphony No. 8 (the first of his works Vaughan Williams allowed to be numbered), was performed by the Hallé under the baton of Sir John Barbirolli on 2nd May 1956.
The audio excerpts below are from the opening Fantasia (Variazioni senza tema) movement from the Hallé's recording of Symphony No.8.
The original programme from the concert at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall contains detailed notes on the music, written by none other than the composer himself.
Symphony No. 8 is the shortest, yet one of the most inventive of Vaughan Williams’ nine symphonies, using a much expanded percussion section, including “all the ‘phones and ‘spiels known to the composer”.
For further fascinating notes on the symphony, step back in time with the original concert programme from May 1956.
Download the May 1956 Hallé programme (PDF, 4MB)