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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67381/2
Recording details: July 2002
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2002
Total duration: 10 minutes 13 seconds

'An entrancing voyage of discovery' (Gramophone)

'This set would draw interest even if it didn't contain five world premiere recordings, such is the quality and insight of the music-making' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The Nash’s playing is simply outstanding and makes the best possible case for giving many of these works a permanent place in the repertoire' (The Daily Telegraph)

'In these performances, there is an admirable sense of the discovery of previously unknown music of quality. The recordings are excellent. This is a major and exciting addition to the Vaughan Williams discography. Very strongly recommended' (International Record Review)

'The Nash Ensemble play with their customary blend of flawless perfection and musical insight' (The Times)

'The Nash Ensemble's performances are superb' (The Sunday Times)

'The Nash Ensemble plays these stunning miniatures with all the freshness and excitement of a new discovery' (The Strad)

'exuberant, robust, immensely likeable music (The Nash Ensemble obviously love playing it)' (Classic FM Magazine)

'This revelatory collection of early chamber works by the giant of the 20th-century English style is fascinating and captivating' (The Scotsman)

'The Nash Ensemble play these first performances with passion and aplomb … very good indeed' (BBCi)

'The Nash Ensemble plays with sensitivity, beauty, and taste. It may well have replaced the old Melos Ensemble as my favorite British chamber consort … They have at least two more Hyperion CDs devoted to Vaughan Williams's chamber music (instrumental and vocal), both of high quality. This, I think, is the best of the three, and it's beautifully recorded besides' (Classical Music)

'The Nash Ensemble performs all of this music with boundless enthusiasm and technical assurance … This is a ‘must’ for anyone who cares about Vaughan Williams' (ClassicsToday.com)

'Un must pour tous, et un apport fondamental à la discographie' (Répertoire, France)

'les musiciens du Nash mettent leur technique et leur enthousiasme au service d’une matière inégale' (Diapason, France)

Nocturne and Scherzo
composer
1906

Introduction
On 22 May 1904 Vaughan Williams completed a Ballade and Scherzo for string quintet. But in 1906 he revised the Ballade as a Nocturne and wrote a completely new Scherzo ‘founded on an old English folk-song’. Here are the 1906 Nocturne and Scherzo, with the 1904 Scherzo as an extra. The Nocturne is what Holst would have called ‘the real RVW’. In the veiled beauty of its highly chromatic harmonies we hear already in evidence the tone-poet of the slow movement of A London Symphony, while – two years before he went to Ravel – in the fleet-footed Scherzo there is already a French influence in the way the folksong ‘As I walked out’ is subtly woven into the texture, only brief snatches of the tune being heard until the penultimate page when it receives fuller treatment. The 1904 Scherzo is a vigorous march with fugal episodes. No previous performances of these works have been traced before those at the British Library Conference Centre on 20 February 2001.

from notes by Michael Kennedy 2002

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