Sir Charles Groves (1915-92)

The beginning of occasional and serendipitous postings to mark Ralph Vaughan Williams’s 150th anniversary.

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Colin Davis; January 21, 2006; Philharmonie im Gasteig, Munich

Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Charles Groves; September 22, 1980; Sydney Opera House Concert Hall

Also, David Hurwitz’s survey of integral VW Symphony Cycles – a mix of experienced/enthusiastic opinion offset by fatuousness (his mimicry of Boult is gratuitous and maybe offensive) and some balderdash (I did contemplate a different B-word), yet he has views/recommendations to share that sometimes square with my own leanings.

Regarding VW4 I was hoping to find two performances on YouTube from a few decades ago that were broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 from the Royal Festival Hall – Rozhdestvensky & the LSO, and Solti & the London Philharmonic – but not located, so far. The Rozhdestvensky I recall as being electrifying, the LSO stupendous, and rather different to his Moscow reading included in the Melodiya VW Symphony cycle (a set Hurwitz doesn’t mention).

There are numerous VW4s I wouldn’t want to be without, including Berglund and Bernstein, and certainly the composer’s white-hot pre-WWII recording and its modern-day counterpart, Slatkin’s. And the recent Pappano: