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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: 15 minutes 31 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)

Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes 'Household Music'
composer
1940/1

Introduction
Broadcasting on ‘The Composer in Wartime’ in 1940, Vaughan Williams suggested that composers should write works for ‘combinations of all manner of instruments which might be played by people whiling away the waiting-hours of war’. He followed his own advice by composing in 1940/41 Household Music: Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes for string quartet, but he said that instead of strings there could be oboe, clarinet, flute, saxophone or cornet, or other equivalents at different pitches: bassoon, bass clarinet, recorder, B flat saxophone and euphonium. He also made an arrangement for medium-sized orchestra. The first performance, on 4 October 1941, was given in Wigmore Hall by the Blech String Quartet. The hymn tunes are ‘Crug-y-bar’, ‘St Denio’ and ‘Aberystwyth’ (eight variations on Joseph Parry’s tune). The scherzo on ‘St Denio’ is particularly engaging but the three melodies are all affectionately treated.

from notes by Michael Kennedy 2002

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