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Along the Field

author of text

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


Vaughan Williams: Songs


No 1: We'll to the woods no more
Track 16 on CDA67168 [1'31]
No 2: Along the field
Track 17 on CDA67168 [2'55]
No 3: The half-moon westers low
Track 18 on CDA67168 [1'31]
No 4: In the morning
Track 19 on CDA67168 [1'04]
No 5: The sigh that heaves the grasses
Track 20 on CDA67168 [2'12]
No 6: Good-bye  Oh see how thick the goldcup flowers
Track 21 on CDA67168 [2'07]
No 7: Fancy's Knell  When lads were home from labour
Track 22 on CDA67168 [3'13]
No 8: With rue my heart is laden
Track 23 on CDA67168 [1'26]

Track-specific metadata for CDA67168 track 17

Along the field
Recording date
27 October 1999
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Vaughan Williams: Songs (CDA67168)
    Disc 1 Track 17
    Release date: September 2000
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