Vaughan Williams Symphonies Vol.1 - Andrew Manze

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Manze conductor

Andrew Manze’s interpretations of Vaughan Williams’ Symphonies have met with acclaim from audiences and critics alike.

This first CD in a complete symphony cycle with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra contains ‘A London Symphony’ and the kaleidoscopically brilliant 8th.

Inspired to write a purely orchestral symphony by his composer friend George Butterworth in 1912, the composer suggested it was ‘a symphony by a Londoner’. The 8th Symphony, scored for ‘all the ’phones and ’spiels known to the composer’, is a highly inventive work from the end of his life of which he said the opening movement was ‘seven variations in search of a theme’.

‘Manze’s Vaughan Williams [Symphony No.8] was beautifully imagined from the first gleaming pools of vibraphone and celesta to the carnivalesque scherzo for wind and the tender cavatina for strings.’ The Times, October 2015 (Liverpool Philharmonic Hall).

(ONYX 4155).

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)
Symphony No.2 in G ‘A London Symphony’
1. I. Lento – Allegro risoluto (molto pesante) 14.29
2. II. Lento 10.59
3. III. Scherzo (Nocturne): Allegro vivace 7.55
4. IV. Andante con moto – Maestoso alla Marcia (quasi lento) – Allegro – 13.19
Maestoso alla Marcia (alla I) – Epilogue (Andante sostenuto)

Symphony No.8 in D minor
5. I. Fantasia (Variazioni senza tema) 10.47
6. II. Scherzo alla marcia (per strumenti a fiato): Allegro alla marcia 3.50
7. III. Cavatina (per strumenti ad arco): Lento espressivo 9.03
8. IV. Toccata: Moderato maestoso 5.06

“This performance, the first installment of a promised cycle, is enormously enjoyable. It proves that you can't pigeonhole conductors: Andrew Manze might be best known as a Baroque specialist, but his Vaughan Williams is as charismatic and affectionate as any on disc. The first movement's perkiness is intoxicating, but the real magic happens in the slow movement's big tune six minutes in, shaped here with rare sensitivity and warmth. Exquisite played by the RLPO strings too. Manze never puts a foot wrong … Tremendous music and a really recommendable, enjoyable disc.” Graham Rickson – The Arts Desk, May 2016

“Manze and the Liverpool players offer not only the immaculate tuning and ensemble taken for granted nowadays from this orchestra, but also expressive and atmospheric playing such as has rarely been heard in Vaughan Williams since Adrian Boult’s heyday, all recorded in warm yet naturally detailed sound … A very special recording.” Daniel Jaffe – BBC Music Magazine, July 2016

“All in all these are terrific performances and convincing interpretations … I can’t wait for the next instalment.” Stephen Greenbank – MusicWeb International, June 2016


£2.50 P&P (per order)

Buy Album