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The Stage Works: Shakespearean Portraits

Donald Macleod explores Vaughan Williams's works on Elizabethan and Tudor themes as well as the chequered performance history of his operas.

The experience of working with the RSC on the music for a number of plays in 1913 sowed the seeds for Vaughan Williams's Falstaffian opera Sir John in Love. This, like most of his operas, was first produced by amateurs, as opportunities for an English composer to get an opera performed were almost non-existent in the early 20th century. With Donald Macleod.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Three Elizabethan partsongs: O Mistress Mine

    Performer: Holst Singers/ Stephen Layton (cond)

    • Hyperion CDA66777.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Sir John in Love – Extract: Act IV Sc 2

    Performer: Raimund Herincx (Falstaff)/ Elizabeth Bainbridge (Mrs Ford)/ Felicity Palmer (Mrs Page)/ Wendy Eathorne (Anne Page)/ John Alldis Choir/ New Philharmonia Orchestra/ Meredith Davies (cond)

    • EMI CMS 5 66 1232 2 CD 2.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Six Studies in English Folk Song

    Performer: Paul Watkins (cello)/ Ian Brown (piano)

    • Hyperion CDA 67313.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Five Tudor portraits – Extract: no. 1: Ballad – The Tunning of Elinor Rumming

    Performer: Elizabeth Bainbridge (alto)/ Bach Choir/ New Philharmonia Orchestra/ Sir David Willcocks (cond)

    • EMI CDM 7 64722 2.

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