Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony
4th Sep 2015
CD HLL 7542
Sir Mark Elder
Katherine Broderick, Soprano
Roderick Williams, Baritone
Hallé Youth Choir
Schola Cantorum of Oxford
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
A SEA SYMPHONY
I. A Song for All Seas, All Ships
II. On the Beach at Night Alone
III. Scherzo: The Waves
IV. The Explorers
‘This matchless concert of British music closed with an outstanding performance, among the finest ever, of A Sea Symphony… This was the first time Sir Mark Elder had conducted the work, which made the completeness of his interpretation, at once controlled and ecstatic, all the more startling. I can’t imagine the work being better played…’
Guardian review of the March 2014 performance at The Bridgewater Hall.
Hallé announces their latest release, of Vaughan Williams’ masterpiece in a live recording from the stunning 2014 Bridgewater Hall performance.
Release follows hugely successful previous Vaughan Williams volumes including:
Symphonies No.5 & No.8 (CD HLL 7533) – Sunday Times Album of the Week and Music Web Recording of the Month (April 2013); Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’ (May 2013)
Symphony No.2 ‘London’/Oboe Concerto (CD HLL 7529) – BBC Radio 3 CD Review Disc of the Week (31 December 2011)
Recording features multi-award winning Hallé Choirs, featured on acclaimed previous albums including:
- Elgar: Dream of Gerontius (CD HLD 7520) – Gramophone Award 2009
- Elgar: The Kingdom (CD HLD 7526) – Gramophone Award 2011
- Elgar: The Apostles (CD HLD 7534) – Gramophone Award 2013; BBC Music Magazine 2013 Choral Award & Record of the Year
The work is a full-scale choral symphony (for soprano, baritone, chorus and orchestra) with a vast, mystical setting of texts by the American poet Walt Whitman.
Much of the music is descriptive of the sea, particularly The Waves, but in the other movements the sea becomes a metaphor for a voyage into eternity.
After a seven year gestation A Sea Symphony was premiered in October 1910 and was received rapturously, establishing Vaughan Williams as the leading English figure in the post-Elgar generation.