CD reviews – Vaughan Williams Symphonies Nos. 4 & 8

February 2015 saw the release of a new Vaughan Williams CD on the LPO label: his Symphonies Nos. 4 and 8. Conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth and Vladimir Jurowski respectively, these live concert recordings have received great reviews so far...

‘Our orchestras’ penchant for issuing CDs of their concerts means all can enjoy this account of Vaughan Williams’s searing Fourth Symphony’
The Sunday Times, 1 February 2015

On Symphony No. 4: ‘The challenge is to maintain the momentum and interest in the symphony beyond this Munchian scream. It works here’
On Symphony No. 8: ‘Vladimir Jurowski conducts an orchestra on top form’
The Independent on Sunday, 1 February 2015

‘The LPO’s Russian principal conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, is in authoritative command ... Both pieces are well played and recorded, live performances in every sense of them.’
Financial Times, 7 February 2015

‘The precision of the London Philharmonic is the starting point for a reading of tremendous power, which never allows the tension to slacken for a moment’
The Guardian, 20 March 2015

‘There is an authentic ache in the LPO’s string-playing throughout.’ (Symphony No. 4)
‘The shimmer of the beautifully scored opening pages lends a contemporary resonance and the archaic religiosity of tone is something which clearly chimes with Jurowski.’ (Symphony No. 8)
Gramophone, May 2015

On Symphony No. 4: ‘Explicitly recorded, and superbly played, with power, passion and identification, driven with fury, this LPO account stands alongside the very best existing recordings.’
On Symphony No. 8: ‘If Previn remains my yardstick, Vladimir Jurowski has the measure of the music’s depth, suggestion and vivid character. The LPO (now more spaciously recorded) turns in a poetic and brilliant account.’
Sinfini Music, 10 March 2015

'Jurowski's account of the eighth is ... successful; an elusive work, it rarely seems as symphonic as here.'
Classical Music Magazine, March 2015 (4 stars)

‘Vladimir Jurowski directs a lovely, characterful version of the exotic Eighth Symphony ... The familiar, pastoral, archetypal RVW string writing, so beloved of the composer’s devotees, characterises the slow movement, where the warmth and beauty of the LPO’s string section is captivating.’
Michael Tumelty, Herald Scotland, 5 April 2015

‘Wigglesworth secures very fine playing from the London Philharmonic, that stony-faced aggression making itself crushing from the off. The succeeding movement's stillness comes across in part with that same timeless and motionless effect heard in Shostakovich and with Wigglesworth looking after the line is deep-breathed in its success.

This release is heartily recommended, not least to anyone new to this great repertoire, especially for Wigglesworth's arresting conducting of the Fourth.
Peter Joelson, Classicalsource.com, April 2015

‘[The Orchestra responds] superbly [to Vladimir Jurowski], alighting on the music’s idiom – the 80-year-old Vaughan Williams’s wryly imaginative take on his own earlier style – with unerring touch and precision.’
BBC Music Magazine, May 2015

The CD is priced £9.99 and is available from the LPO website, Amazon or as a download from iTunes.

LPO-0082, released February 2015.

Find out more, listen to clips and buy the CD