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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released January 12, 2018 | Albion

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Incidental music for plays has largely fallen into historical eclipse, which is unfair, considering that it was the direct ancestor of the film soundtrack. All three of the works here are world premieres, brought forth by the British conductor Alan Tongue, who has delved into early Ralph Vaughan Williams manuscripts and emerged with interesting finds including a Cambridge Mass Vaughan Williams wrote as a doctoral thesis. Here you get music for three Greek plays, with spoken passages, songs, choruses, and instrumental music. Certainly the album is a must for Vaughan Williams fans and also for those of the American dancer Isadora Duncan, for whom some of this music was written (the productions involved never materialized). All the music is competent or better, but the highlight may be the final music for Iphigenia in Taurus, which existed only in short score and has been expertly realized here by Tongue. Sample the ecstatic "Go forth in bliss" finale for a strong dose of the mature Vaughan Williams. The exhaustive booklet notes by Tongue, covering Duncan's involvement, the stage tradition in which Vaughan Williams worked, and a dozen other matters, are another attraction, and the performances by the Britten Sinfonia and the Joyful Company of Singers are ideal. © TiVo