Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending is a serene piece of music that belongs in every classical collection. When I was tracking the top 100 classical music selections played at the end of the year on AllClassical here in Portland, The Lark Ascending always made the list. This particular CD recommendation also includes Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, another outstanding composition. Here is one positive review from Amazon. For other music recommendations, search “music” on this blog.
“This is the one I fell in love with so many years ago, and it was the first Vaughan Williams CD I purchased. I own everything of his on CD now, but this CD is my favorite. The beauty of “The Lark Ascending” is indescribable. I’ll just say that it takes you away to a better, more peaceful time, and no matter how frazzled your nerves are, it will mellow you but good. The Thomas Tallis Fantasia piece is so gorgeous. Listen to the first few bars, and imagine yourself standing next to a ruined castle, the walls encumbered with ivy, the sun filtering through the ruins….That is the effect it has on me every time I listen. The Greensleeves Fantasia is another sumptuous composition, as are the Variants. I think old Ralph(Rafe) was the very best composer for strings. Second would be Delius.
If you fall in love with this CD, I would recommend that you listen to Ralph’s “Sinfonia Antartica.” Completely unlike anything on this CD, but astounding nevertheless. Really…everything he composed is wonderful, so start with this CD and build yourself a R.V.W. library.”