The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (169): Double strings

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (169): Double strings


norman lebrecht

September 01, 2020

Rattle and the LSO have put me in a VW mood.



  • Rob says:

    The Tallis Fantasia is good for inducing a coma.

    • Bum Note says:

      Ooh you are cruel! Wolfgang Rihm or Jorg Widmann might well bring on similar.

    • Jason Lewis says:

      Ever played it, Rob? I mean, on a string instrument as part of an Ensemble?

    • Greg Bottini says:

      You’re joking, right, Rob? Tell me you’re joking.

    • Bruce says:

      I hope, if you’re ever in a coma, some well-meaning person plays this for you, over and over again.

    • Paul Carlile says:

      Not quite…Sir Thomas Beecham, who disloke most “english” (cowpat) mew-sick, was challenged on his reluctance to programme Warm-Villains:
      “But surely, Sir Thomas, you wouldn’t reject the magnificent Tallis Fantasia….?”
      “No, but VW made the Cardinal Error of not including a theme by Thomas Tallis in ALL his compositions!”

      I’m with Sir T on this one!

  • Michael Turner (conductor) says:

    Norman, I’m delighted that you’re having a VW moment. All such moments are to be treasured, in my opinion. While the Tallis Fantasia is an undoubted masterpiece, let’s not forget either the Partita or the Concerto Grosso. Both of these string pieces are unjustly neglected the output of RVW.

  • RW2013 says:

    Sublime genius.

  • Bum Note says:

    VW the composer of the Symphonic Cowpat, pure genius!

  • Doc Martin says:

    VW fans might find this discussion by Margaret Fauntless of interest. She tracked down the original concert programme detailing the performers. Would you believe it, Fritz Kreisler was in the orchestra.

    If the OAE record it I might give it another listen.

  • Inchiquin says:

    Cormac de Barra plays Farewell to Music by Turlough O’Carolan, (c1670-1738)

  • Lincoln says:

    Norman, I love your daily songs of comfort. This Vaughan Williams is just what I needed today!

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Perhaps it is not echt-British enough for our friends across the pond but Morton Gould made a surprisingly sympathetic recording of the Tallis Fantasia for RCA Victor in the 1960s, with a hand picked string orchestra(s) and a stunning solo quartet: Harold Kohon (an Enescu pupil who had a string quartet before becoming a busy session violinist), Harvey Shapiro (Toscanini’s first cello with the NBC Symphony for a time, and a member of the Primrose Quartet), Max Pollikoff (a highly regarded recitalist and something of a specialist in contemporary music), Walter Trampler (one of the most versatile of violists, playing Baroque music on viola d’amore and contemporary music on viola, a founder of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and member of the Yale Quartet).

  • Elizabeth Lloyd-Davies says:

    The performance of the LSO with Simon Rattle last Sunday at the Proms live from the Royal Albert Hall was one of the finest concerts I have ever heard with Simon ….and the Vaughan Williams Fifth Symphony was an inspiration….I heard the Sinfonia Antarctica in 1952 with VW present and met him in the new RFH, and have never forgotten it…but the performance last Sunday was amazing.such string sound…and superb recording from the BBC music studio managers…including the Brass Gabrielli … an empty RAH….what a challenge for everyone with brilliant music making……an evening to remember !