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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic recording and interpretation
Disclaimer up front: I absolutely love this music. When I'm melancholy, thoughtful, lonely, or just plain relaxing late at night, this disk gets played an awful lot. The Fantasia is wonderfully done, and hooks me immediately every time. The stand-out for me is the Lark Ascending recording, which is truly wonderful. I have over a dozen versions of the Lark, and this...
Published 5 months ago by Dr. Tim Parker

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars adequate but disappointing from Marriner
This CD was a disappointment for me in that Marriner's conducting of these Vaughan Williams works falls somewhat short of his interpretations of other composers on other recordings. Tempos tend to be awkward and with the Tallis fantasia, rushed. Poor choice of tempo muddles Vaughan Williams' lyrical and lush, yet unconventional melodic sense, which is actually the work...
Published on July 16 1999 by treestamp


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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic recording and interpretation, Feb. 15 2014
By 
Dr. Tim Parker (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
Disclaimer up front: I absolutely love this music. When I'm melancholy, thoughtful, lonely, or just plain relaxing late at night, this disk gets played an awful lot. The Fantasia is wonderfully done, and hooks me immediately every time. The stand-out for me is the Lark Ascending recording, which is truly wonderful. I have over a dozen versions of the Lark, and this recording is the one I always pick out to listen to. (My father, unfortunately long passed, was a sound engineer and musician; this piece was his absolute favorite, so I can't listen to it without thinking of him which adds poignancy every time.) As you would expect if you've been in the classical field for a while, Marriner and the ASMF is in top form, breathing a lightness and beauty into this music. The recording is superb, too, with great dynamics and clarity. Listen on a really high-end system (or high-end headphones) and you'll hear between the music, understanding how the overtones interact with each other, raising the music even higher.

Some of Vaughan Williams' music I can take or leave, but this disc features the best he has to offer as far as composition, conveyance of the wonderful English countryside, and wistful longing for home. There's no crash-boom-bang, just soaring violin lines, fantastic melodies, and peaceful thoughts. Probably number 2 on my ten desert island disk list (behind Kleiber's Beethoven 5 & 7), this is one disk I never am without: it's on my phone, tablet, computer, and CD player on a regular rotation. Beautiful music, beautifully recorded.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An old favourite, Jan. 20 2014
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This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
I owned this recording on vinyl and have been looking for it for years on CD. I bought it particularly for the version of Rhapsody on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Marriner conducts it with a special flourish at the ending that I find sublime. A classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars English Beauty at it's Best!, Feb. 8 2004
By 
Bohemian Boy "Music_Lover" (Plainfield, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
Simply awe inspiring. One of my all time favorite CDs. I could listen to this recording 24/7 and never get bored or tired with it. Who says the English can't compose, play or conduct music?
Purchase this disc right now. You won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marriner and the ASMF at their best, Nov. 11 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
I can only add my voice to the previous accolades. It would take a hardened Vaughan Williams hater to not love this recording. Iona Brown is now known mostly as a conductor, it seems--but judging by her performance in "The Lark Ascending" she missed a great soloist career. Her beauty of tone and perfect intuition of the right tempo are major league. I never heard a better version of this piece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Beauty, Jan. 20 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful sampler for those new to the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams. This is an analog recording, but the music is impressively warm and lush in keeping with Williams' writing. Especially noteworthy is Iona Brown's violin in "The Lark Ascending": if there's music more beautiful than this, I sure would like to know about it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely serene., Nov. 24 2002
This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
Expressive, delicate and profoundly peaceful, this is the quintessential English pastoral music played by the quintessential British chamber orchestra. Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields are the perfect performers of these four works by Ralph Vaughan Williams: "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis", "Fantasia on Greensleeves", "The Lark Ascending" and "Five Variants of 'Dives and Lazarus'". Sweet violin solos, quiet flutes and strings, and wistful reeds evoke images of a quaint, simple countryside that perhaps never was. But this music makes it real, painting a sound picture of quiet, natural beauty without the worldly intrusions of back-breaking physical labor, high taxes and harsh overlords that English farmers of yore would doubtless have had to contend with. Vaughan Williams (b. 1872, d.1958), a collector of folk songs and arranger of Renaissance tunes, waxes nostalgic with these graceful, dignified and superbly subtle compositions, and you will too upon hearing them. Put this recording on at the end of a stressful day, look at something green and alive, and just feel the tension melt away. Vaughan Williams created many intriguing soundscapes, but these four selections have always been my personal favorites.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Recording of All Times, Oct. 2 2002
By 
Mark Lewellen "starznmoon" (Mesquite, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
I recently purchased this CD and I have almost worn it out. Although all four pieces are excellent, the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and The Lark Ascending are of the utmost beauty and pleasure. This is one of those classic "Must Have" orchestral recordings that should appeal to any one. This rendition of Vaughan Williams most noted work has almost a "religous" quality to it that captures the escense and tranquility of the English countryside. Although I have heard other recordings of this music, this one has that magical nerve striking quality that best represents the composer's original music intentions. This is truly a great work and lives up to the great reputation of Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lush and Solemn, Aug. 15 2002
By 
M. JEFFREY MCMAHON "herculodge" (Torrance, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
If you're a brooding melancholic as I sometimes am (as we all sometimes are), then this music, almost religious in scope, will hit the spot. All of the pieces fit well, with no jarring, abrupt "surprises." Smooth and lush, these Ralph Vaughan Williams pieces provide soothe and succor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best Lark Ascending, April 7 2002
By 
Matthew Andaloro (Philadelphia, PA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
I have heard a few different recordings of the Lark Ascending, and have to say that this performance is the best. It captures the tender pastoral quality of the piece so well. For some reason, though, there is a slight rumbling in the quiet sections at the end of the piece, almost as if the recording picked up the ventilation of the recording venue. Nevertheless, this is barely noticable. The performance of Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis also captures the essence of Vaughan Williams. The listener will no doubt find the other two works on this CD to be pleasant as well. In all these are benchmark peformances of benchmark works by Vaughan Williams. The Lark Ascending and Fantasia are absolute musts for anyone wishing to experience the composer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Lark, March 4 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc (Audio CD)
I bought this CD for the Lark piece. It did not disappoint!! Very haunting and beautiful. This is a piece that I can listen to again and again. The other tracks are icing on the cake.
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Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc
Vaughan Williams Fantasin on a theme be thomas tallis etc by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Audio CD - 1999)
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