A Russian Vaughan Williams?

A Russian Vaughan Williams?


norman lebrecht

July 14, 2014

When the late Richard Hickox conducted the nine Vaughan Williams symphonies with the Bournemouth orchestra in the mid-1990s it was thought to be the first time the cycle had been performed complete.


It now appears that Gennady Rozhdestvensky, that indefatigable Anglophile, had conducted the series in Leningrad a few years earlier, in 1988-89. Those performances have just been released on record. They are intriguing, illuminating, vitally uplifting.

They are my Album of the Week on sinfinimusic.com.

Click here to read and listen. You may never hear RVW with the same ears again.

Gennady Rozhdestvensky


  • Thomas Roth says:

    I agree, it is a marvellous cycle!

  • Mark Stratford says:

    ==first time the cycle had been performed complete.

    Do we mean “performed complete” in just one season ? Because, if not, there are other cycles like the Previn (late 60s, early 70s) and Boult which were complete spanned more than one season.

  • John Edward Niles says:

    In the area of unusual conductors of Vaughan Williams, the one that comes to mind is Bruno Walter. Many years ago, he attended a concert conducted by Sir Adrian Boult. On the program was a work by R V-W called: JOB, A MASQUE FOR DANCING. I have conducted this work myself in both the full, original orchestration and as a ballet piece in the reduced orchestration (no Saxophones or Organ and less winds).
    Bruno Walter was really taken with the piece and went to Boult and found out all that he could about the piece. Later, Walter conducted it on a several concerts over the years. He always said that this was a wonderful work and he really enjoyed performing it. I would have loved to hear BW’s interpretation.

  • Mark Stratford says:

    ==Bruno Walter

    And Bernstein loved the 4th symphony