Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia Essential Recordings

Essential Recordings

BBCSO/Boult (1940)
EMI/Warner 9035672 (17CDs)
The Fantasia's second recording, in evocative but not-too-antique mono, swifter and more passionate than Boult's later traversals.

Sinfonia of London/Barbirolli
EMI/Warner 2079922 (2CDs)
An unmissable one-off, slow but fiery and Italianate, in classic Kingsway Hall 1960s stereo which holds up well in remastering.

Bournemouth SO/Silvestri
EMI/Warner 2161462 (2CDs)
The best of the 'outsider' perspectives, making full use of the Winchester Cathedral acoustic without drowning in it.

Warner 0927495842
Even more than Boult, led with an insider's grasp of the work's particular century-crossing idiom, and superbly played.

Onyx ONYX4212
Another conductor equally at home in both 16th and 20th-century worlds, with a cooler, rapt vision of their encounter.

Euroarts 2059428 (DVD)
Ardent BPO strings and the gilded hall of Prague Castle make an unlikely but persuasive home for the Tallis Fantasia on tour.