Bernard Haitink – conductor
Sheila Armstrong – soprano
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Ladies of the London Philharmonic Choir
Recorded by BBC Radio 3 at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London:
Symphony No. 5 recorded 15 December 1994; Symphony No. 7 recorded 27 November 1984
£10.99 (2 Audio CDs)
Although Vaughan Williams’s Fifth Symphony was largely composed during the Second World War, it includes some of his most tranquil music, its pastoral serenity set vividly against the backdrop of war-torn Europe. The Seventh Symphony, Sinfonia antartica, began life as Vaughan Williams’s score for the film Scott of the Antarctic, whose themes of human endeavour, stoicism and courage hugely moved and inspired the composer. Scott and his men might have perished, but their spirit lives on in Vaughan Williams’s original and atmospheric music.
Reviews of the concert performances:
‘Haitink was on scintillating form throughout. The LPO matched his commitment every bar of the way.’
Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 17 December 1994
‘This performance captured the music’s atmosphere in the poignant shaping of lyrical lines and in the acute observance of orchestral balance and detail. Thoughtful, reflective and marked by a feeling of deep understanding.’
Geoffrey Norris, Daily Telegraph, 21 December 1994
All LPO Label recordings available from www.lpo.org.uk/shop, the London Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office (020 7840 4242), all good CD outlets, and the Royal Festival Hall shop. Also available to download or stream online via iTunes, Spotify and others.
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