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In the Fen Country and Norfolk Rhapsodies

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In the Fen Country and Norfolk Rhapsodies
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Media

Hyperion
"Britain's brightest record label"

Vaughan Williams composed three Norfolk Rhapsodies in 1905 and 1906, basing them on folk tunes he had collected around the Wash. But only the first of them has remained in the standard repertory, it is loved as one of the composer's fondest and most ravishing explorations of the folk tradition. The score of Norfolk Rhapsody No 3 was destroyed, and the second of the set had not been performed since 1914. Two pages of the score were lost, but they have now been recomposed by Stephen Hogger.
Rhapsody No 2 follows the same plan as its well-known predecessor, constructed out of a bundle of folk tunes. It opens with a quiet slow introduction, builds to a faster, louder climax and then subsides to the mood in which it began.
 
If the missing two are half as good as the surviving rhapsody, it's a major loss. This is a great work, using themes from the Norfolk fishing village folksongs "The Captain's Apprentice" and "The Bold Young Sailor". You'll remember two things about this work, the lovely quiet passages with woodwind piping, and the jig-like cameo appearance of the snare drum halfway through. RVW did the nation a service by preserving this music.

Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields 1995
Philips 442 427 2 1995

1. The Wasps
 
2. Fantasia On A Theme
By Thomas Tallis
 
3. In The Fen Country
 
4. Variations For Orchestra
 
5. Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1 In E Minor
 
6. Five Variants Of 'Dives And Lazarus'

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