London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers

Vaughan Williams, Holst: Choral Folksong Arrangements

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Vaughan Williams, Holst: Choral Folksong Arrangements Review

by James Leonard

Now here is a highly enjoyable combination: choral folk songs arranged for mixed choir by Vaughan Williams and Holst. The songs are gems. How else could one describe such favorites as "Loch Lomond," "I Love My Love," and "Greensleeves?" The arrangements are delightful. Both composers loved folk songs, and their musical skill is always subordinate to their affection. Here, melody is king, harmony is queen, and their progeny are blessed with an earthly beauty and a heavenly grace. The 16 Vaughan Williams' arrangements were recorded in 1969 by the London Madrigal Singers under Christopher Bishop, and the performances are ardent and enthusiastic, with Ian Partridge providing an especially effective tenor solo in "Loch Lomond." Recorded in 1974, the 10 Holst arrangements, 9 from English folk songs and one from the Rigveda, are performed by the eight-voice London Baccholian Singers with a robust tone and a vigorous sense of rhythm. Though surely not the first disc of English modernism casual listeners should hear, devotees of the composers will seek it out and enjoy it with pleasure. In both cases, EMI's stereo sound is clear, cool, and deep.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 02:55 Amazon
2 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 03:42 Amazon
3 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 02:13 Amazon
4 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 03:18 Amazon
5 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 02:39 Amazon
6 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 05:12 Amazon
7 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 04:45 Amazon
8 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 02:37 Amazon
9 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 01:51 Amazon
10 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 03:22 Amazon
11 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 01:22 Amazon
English Folksongs (5) for chorus
12 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 02:15 Amazon
13 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 03:08 Amazon
14 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 02:16 Amazon
15 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 04:09 Amazon
16 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 02:38 Amazon
17 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 06:02 Amazon
Choral Hymns (4 groups) from the Rig Veda, for chorus & orchestra, Op. 26, H. 97-100
18 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 03:47 Amazon
Canons (8) for chorus & piano, H. 187
19 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 01:01 Amazon
20 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 01:20 Amazon
21 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 03:56 Amazon
Choral Folk Songs (6) for chorus, Op.36b, H. 136
22 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 01:16 Amazon
23 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 03:06 Amazon
24 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 02:24 Amazon
25 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 04:04 Amazon
26 London Baccholian Singers / London Madrigal Singers 02:53 Amazon
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