The Film Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams volume 1
music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, performed by the BBC Philharmonic, Rumon Gamba conducting. Chandos digital CHAN 10007. total time 78:30
This CD contains music from three films: Scott of the Antarctic (41:12), Coastal Command (23:43) and The People’s Land (13:17). The latter is a premiere recording, the first a premiere recording in this complete version.
As you would expect, the music composed for these films differs, each written for the environment and plot of the film it scored. Scott of the Antarctic is particularly evocative, with voices in chorus adding to the mood of desolation and cruel cold. Less than half of the music Williams composed for the film was used, this is the first time all of it was recorded, as a suite, and it’s particularly effective. Williams said afterward that he composed most of the music while reading of Scott’s ill-fated expedition, before he’d seen any of the movie he was scoring.
The music for Costal Command is stirring, patriotic, and, again, evocative. The People’s Land was made for the British National Trust in 1943, and the music is based primarily on folk songs such as “John Barleycorn: and “The Springtime of the Year”, with linking motifs for various parts of England. Very nice.
Information from Chandos about the series:
“Chandos Movies is one of the best known film music labels in the industry, and has received tremendous critical acclaim. The series is especially associated with the conductor Rumon Gamba, whose understanding and enthusiasm for the form shines through. Vaughan Williams’s film music ranks amongst the very finest ever written, and this CD contains some excellent examples. What makes [the discs in this series] so important is that some of the material has never been recorded before, music which has been painstakingly assembled by Chandos’ in-house arranger and music researcher, Stephen Hogger. The result is a [series of] hugely important releases which will be of interest to both film music buffs and fans of Vaughan Williams.”
I don’t have a lot to add to that! There are 3 Volumes in the series (so far) and each is enjoyable in it’s own way. This music is available as a CD, or from Chandos as an MP3 download or Lossless download.