Vaughan Williams: Symphonies 5 & 7
LPO 0072 (2 CDs)
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 7 (Sinfonia antartica): III, Landscape (10:19); IV, Intermezzo (5:45); V, Epilogue (8:36)
London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir / Bernard Haitink; Sheila Armstrong, soprano
Ralph Vaughan Williams lived through two world wars and a time as turbulent as any in British history. Although his Fifth Symphony was largely composed during the Second World War, it includes some of his most tranquil music, its pastoral serenity set vividly against the backdrop of war-torn Europe. The Seventh Symphony, Sinfonia antartica, began life as Vaughan Williams’s score for the film Scott of the Antarctic, whose themes of human endeavor, stoicism and courage hugely moved and inspired the composer.