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Piano Concerto Naxos 8.572304

Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams

Arranger: Gordon Jacob

Conductor: James Judd

Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Artist: Ashley Wass

The popular overture from Vaughan Williams's in­ciden­tal music for
Aristophanes's The Wasps introduces a suite whose mischievously witty, noble
and farcical movements underline the play's satire of the Athenian legal
system. A similar vivacity characterises his English Folksong Suite and The
Running Set, where Vaughan Williams relishes setting tunes such as Barrack Hill,
Irish Reel, The Blackthorn Stick and Cock o' the North. Folksong-like melodies
also feature in his magnificent Piano Concerto, in which the magisterial
influence of Bach and Busoni may also be heard.

Piano Concerto Review

These accounts of four diverse works by Ralph Vaughan Williams are in
every way splendid. James Judd clearly knows his way around these scores, and
his conducting is as precise and propulsive as it is richly colored and deeply
affectionate. His Wasps overture has plenty of snap and bite, while his English
Folk Song Suite and The Running Set (another folk song suite in all but name)
are bright and colorful. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic responds to the
conductor and the music with energy, enthusiasm, and plenty of power, and its
playing compares favorably to that of the orchestras of that nation's capital.
Pianist Ashley Wass covers himself with glory in his robustly virtuosic but
warmly nuanced reading of the English composer's re­lativ­ely rarely recorded

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