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Vaughan Williams died 60 years ago this year and his reputation has probably never been higher than at present. This CD offers no fewer than 21 premiere recordings among its 22 tracks from the byways of his output. While none of these short choral works – which include hymns, anthems and folk song arrangements, as well as some early Tennyson settings and patriotic commissions from the second world war – will change our view of the composer, they certainly make for an enjoyable, and occasionally surprising, hour’s music. RVW’s lovely version of Foster’s ‘Old Folks at Home’ (‘Swanee River’) is one of the more unexpected items. The chamber-sized Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and their director William Vann bring the highest level of commitment to the project. Hats off to them, and to the RVW Society for making it possible.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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