Hyperion Records

Along the Field
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'Vaughan Williams: Songs' (CDA67168)
Vaughan Williams: Songs
No 1: We'll to the woods no more
No 2: Along the field
No 3: The half-moon westers low
No 4: In the morning
No 5: The sigh that heaves the grasses
No 6: Good-bye  Oh see how thick the goldcup flowers
No 7: Fancy's Knell  When lads were home from labour
No 8: With rue my heart is laden

Along the Field
Vaughan Williams turned again to Housman for the cycle Along the Field, this time relying simply on a vocal line and a solo violin. Despite these apparent limitations (or maybe because of them) he achieves a miracle of expressiveness—the violin accompaniment ranging from the rhapsodic embellishments of ‘We’ll to the woods no more’ to the pedal drone of ‘Along the field’, and from the ghostly double-stopping of ‘The sigh that heaves the grasses’ (played ‘near the bridge’ to wonderfully hollow effect) to the perky Jig in ‘Fancy’s Knell’ that paints a lively picture of Shropshire lads dancing with their sweethearts. The soprano Joan Elwes, accompanied by Marie Wilson (for whom Vaughan Williams had already written The Lark Ascending) gave the first performance on 24 October 1927 at the Grotrian Hall in Wigmore Street.

from notes by Michael Hurd 2000

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