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  Chandos -
  CHSA 5001
  Vaughan Williams: London Symphony - Hickox
  Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 2 "A London Symphony" (original 1913 version), Butterworth: On the Banks of Green Willow

London Symphony Orchestra
Richard Hickox (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Site review by Polly Nomial January 31, 2007
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Review by Chris September 24, 2004 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Marvellous,fantastic, very,very good.No wonder this disc received the disc of the Year award from Gramophone in 2001..IMO this is Vaughan William's best symphony,with scoring that is so atmospheric and captivating and so full of good tunes,that it keeps me almost entranced, from beginning to end, when I hear it performed and recorded to such perfection as here. Both the 70's Handley and the late sixties Boult version on EMI are still classic performances,and still sound excellent on LP, but they are both the cut version against this original version that definitely contains such exciting passages that one really wonders why Vaughan Williams cut them out in the revised version.
The recording is a model of its kind and although the SACD has been converted into DSD from a 24/96 PCM master,I have no complaints whatsoever!
This is yet another excellent example from Chandos of how to record a symphony orchestra realistically, in a coherent, believable acoustic.
There are, few record companies that know how to,or is it simply care to? make a realistic recording of acoustic music,most having fallen victim to the pernicious severly multi-miked artificial reverb, bad habits of pop/rock engineering.
Two companies that do stand out as Vanguards of true HI FI recording philosophy are Chandos and BIS in today's world.
For those who don't like the type of sound/ recording quality they both deliver so consistently compared to the major's more erratic results,I can only say,go to a live symphonic concert for a change,and you'll know what I mean.
Just like this disc,highly recommended!

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Review by nickc December 29, 2004 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Lovely, wandering, discursive RVW - he has such an inimitable sound you could never mistake him for anyone else. Funnily enough I had never heard the London Symphony before hearing this unexpurgated version so I can take it sui generis as they say.
Even though I live on the other side of the world I was transported back to a London (the London of my dreams)of gas lights, fish markets and even Sherlock Holmes, a London on which whose empire the sun was setting. I especially loved the slow movement with the impassioned cry of the little girl selling lavender.
It is a vast, sprawling work; one in which you must surrender yourself and let the tides of sound wash over you.
We have typical Chandos house sound; big, smooth and resonant - the strings really sing out in the slow movement especially. No use looking for a Mercuryesque close in scything string sound - although I prefer the latter I have room for both approaches in my collection.

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Works: 2  

George Butterworth - On the Banks of Green Willow
Ralph Vaughan Williams - Symphony No. 2 "A London Symphony" (1911-13, rev. 1918/20/33)