Ralph Vaughan Williams: Beyond my Dream Music for Greek Plays
The Bacchae Thou immaculate on high. For his kingdom it is there Where is the home for me?
Electra Onward O labouring tread O for the ships of Troy
There came a man Iphigenia in Tauris Realised from short score by Alan Tongue
Prelude. Dark of the sea. Bird of the sea rocks. Oh, fair the fruits of Leto blow. Go forth in bliss.
World première recordings Libretto: Euripides, translated into English verse by Gilbert Murray
Heather Lowe (mezzo soprano) The Joyful Company of Singers, Britten Sinfonia, Alan Tongue
Albion Records is proud to present more than an hour of unknown music from the early maturity of Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Gramophone Editor’s Choice, February 2018. “Here’s yet another hugely enterprising rescue-act from Albion Records…As has often been the case with so many of these comparatively early RVW discoveries, they make absolutely fascinating listening…these dedicated and scrupulously prepared performances…are all absolutely beyond reproach, and the disc as a whole must be deemed an essential acquisition for every true RVW aficionado.”
The Sunday Times “These premiere recordings salvage attractive music that Vaughan Williams provided in 1911 for performances of three new translations of Euripides plays. ..Nothing here has the inimitable appeal of VW’s Aristophanic Wasps overture, but Iphigenia’s concluding hymnal, Go Forth in Bliss, is lovely.”
In 1911, RVW wrote music for three plays by Euripides, then newly translated into English verse by Gilbert Murray. He wrote music that he considered worthy of the plays, while also satisfying the requirements of Isadora Duncan (for dancing) and Gilbert Murray (who was anxious that the music should not overwhelm the poetry). Whether experimental or not, Murray finally concluded that he liked it very much. There was a single public performance, of which we know very little, but none of the music was ever performed with the plays for which it had been written. This beautiful music, for mezzo soprano, female chorus and orchestra has been transcribed from the scores and parts, and is recorded for the first time. “… an attempt at something new, and something which is neither German nor French. This music is no experiment in styles. It would seem rather as though the composer had disclaimed all styles and all schools, and found direct inspiration in the material of the poet’s inspiration, and the result is something of undeniable beauty.” The Globe, 25 May 1912 Albion Records ALBCD033 @ £14.25 + P&P