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Reviews : Ralph Vaughan Williams: Flos campi

The MHS Review 395 Vol. 11 No. 17, 1987

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Herman Trotter, The Buffalo News (May 2, 1986)


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Flos campi (Suite for Viola, Voices, and Orchestra): Six-Movement Segue; Suite for Viola and Orchestra. Frederick Riddle, Viola; The Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir; Barry Ferguson, Choirmaster; Bournemouth Sinfoniet­ta; Norman del Mar, Conductor.

The MHS catalog is happy hunting ground for lovers of English music. Flos campi for viola, wordless chorus, and orchestra, after love poems from The Song of Solomon, is one of [Vaughan Williams'] ravishing master­pieces. Though yielding its beauty rather slowly, it is worth any amount of effort to gain familiarity. The com­poser always had an intuitive feeling for the viola, entrusting many of his most crucial and appealing orchestral solo lines to its rich, mellow sound. The Suite is much simpler and more accessible, eight movements in folk or serious mood. Performances of both works are exemplary.

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