This is the slowest version of the Eighth Symphony I ever have heard. It lasts over 30 minutes. Nevertheless, it never seems to drag. Thomson lovingly elucidates all the details of the score. It is arguable that this is not what Vaughan Williams wanted, since he heard performances by Barbirolli and Boult (Decca) that reached LP during his lifetime. But Thomson clearly loves this music, and has found a key to its structure. The last movement is eloquent rather than typically rambunctious, and the conclusion is very satisfying. The other works on the CD are less controversial. The Partita receives a superb performance. The plucked strings in the third movement's Homage to Henry Hall, a BBC dance band leader, are particularly evocative of lighter music. Greensleeves goes well, comparably to the famous Ormandy recording. And the Hymn-Tune Preludes are serious and telling. Add to all this superior sound engineering, and you have a fascinating slice of Vaughan Williams.