Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Manze conductor
Symphony No. 5 in D major
I. Preludio. Moderato – Allegro
II. Scherzo. Presto
III. Romanza. Lento
IV. Passacaglia. Moderato – Allegro
Symphony No. 6 in E minor
III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
IV. Epilogue. Moderato
Andrew Manze’s interpretations of Vaughan Williams’ Symphonies have been met with acclaim from audiences and critics alike. This third album in the series contains two masterpieces. The 5th Symphony of 1943 displaying a ‘greatness of soul’ as one commentator at the time wrote, draws on material for ‘The Pilgrims Progress’ from 1906. The 6th Symphony of 1944-7 stunned the audience at its premiere – some tried to explain the works last movement as depicting a nuclear wasteland.
RVW denied it was a war symphony, renewing the questions asked about the 4th: why did he write such another such violent work, and what did it mean? The composer, shocked by the nuclear wasteland talk commented ‘we can get in words nearest to the substance of my last movement in “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded by a sleep” from “The Tempest”.