Barbirolli: Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 5 - HMV ASD508
Jacket EX / LP NM
UK EMI pressing - red semi-circle label - stereo
This handsome LP from His Master’s Voice (ASD 508, UK EMI pressing, red semi-circle label, stereo) features conductor Sir John Barbirolli and the Philharmonia’s magnificent account of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5 in D Major, warmly recorded in 1962 and in many ways still unsurpassed on record.
Wrote critic Alan G. Artner for The Chicago Tribune:
“Barbirolli recorded only four of the nine Vaughan Williams symphonies, and at the time of their release more than 25 years ago opinion was firmly on the side of straighter accounts by Adrian Boult. This was hard to accept then and is impossible to agree with now, given transfers that clarify what was on the sometimes congested LPs while often preserving a special warmth.
“Barbirolli's interpretation of the Fifth Symphony has never been surpassed in tenderness. He particularly cherished this work based on music from Vaughan Williams' opera "The Pilgrim's Progress," and made its first recording in the 1940s. At the end of the slow movement he said he found a vision of "our God in Heaven" to match J.S. Bach's, and the rapture that sustains the passage at a very slow tempo is one of the miracles of this indispensable 1962 recording.”
There are insightful liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by Scott Goddard, printed in English only. The striking cover design is uncredited.