Release Date: October 2017
Label: Chandos
Catalogue No: CHAN 5186

Vaughan Williams: Sinfonia Antartica, Two Piano Concertos & Four Last Songs

Mari Eriksmoen (soprano), Louis Lortie, Hélène Mercier (pianos), Roderick Williams (baritone)

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis


“Either [Lortie] or Hélène Mercier could probably polish off the original [Concerto] by themselves, but their partnership develops its intensity without strain, particularly attractive in rich SACD sound. Davis is at his most dynamic, and the Bergen Philharmonic playing is characteristically crisp…Orchestrated by Anthony Payne [The Four Last Songs are] attractive if unexceptional, but Roderick Williams does evoke their essential tenderness.”

BBC Music Magazine

“[Concerto] excellent depth and weight of tone in the outer movements and beautiful touch in the ravishing central Romanzaand final cadenza. The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra accompany superbly and give a fine performance of the symphony too.”

International Piano Magazine

“Davis reveals the element of banter, of entertainment and the showmanship of a swinging waltz. In the Fuga Boyd demonstrates the discourse between pianos and orchestra well but in an atmosphere of exactitude and tension, even snarling at times. His waltz is wilder, more abandoned. Lortie and Mercier reveal not just the power but the lyricism of the cadenzas, Duo Tal and Groethuysen remain stony throughout. In sum, Davis sets a new benchmark for the recordings of all three works.”

MusicWeb International

“The Bergen Phil finds a clear affinity with the Sinfonia Antartica…There’s an inexorability about this performance and a strong tragic undertow that makes it a compelling listen throughout. Davis authoritatively builds up the tension without any fussiness…balm is supplied by the cultivated baritone of Roderick Williams in Vaughan Williams’s little-known Four Last Songs.”

The Times

“Davis Frames its doomed heroism with real feeling in a performance rich in evocatively etched detail, Mari Eriksmoen’s soprano ethereal and haunting. Roderick Williams beautifully understated and characteristically moving. Excellent sound and notes by Stephen Connock contribute to an essential disc for VW devotees.”

Classical Ear