RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): The Garden of Proserpine for Mezzo-Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, In the Fen Country, PATRICK HADLEY (1899-1973): Fen and Flood for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 08N002
Label: Albion Records
Description: Completed in 1899, The Garden was V-W's first full-scale composition, a 24-minute cantata setting a Swinburne text in which Proserpine and her garden represent the peace of death at the end of a weary existence. By the time it reaches the closing pages, it achieves that combination of radiance and nobility that is so characteristic of Vaughan Williams in his later works. Hadley's 21-minute cantata, finished in 1955 (and performed here in Vaughan William's arrangement for mixed chorus [Hadley had originally used only male voices]), was inspired by the freak flood of Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 1953 which inundated much of Norfolk, parts of Essex and, then, Belgium and the Netherlands, drowning more than 2400 people. The texts are by Hadley himself and a fellow member of the Cambridge Music Faculty and refer to salient points in the history of the Norfolk region. It will appeal to collectors who remember Hadley for his The Trees so High, once available on EMI. Texts included. Jane Irwin (mezzo), Mary Bevan (soprano), Leigh Melrose (baritone), Joyful Company of Singers, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Paul Daniel.