Albion Records
Devoted to rare recordings of Ralph Vaughan Williams and English music
Vaughan Williams Solent

Latest Releases!
THE SOLENT
50 Years of music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
This CD from Albion Records features four world-premiere recordings!


For more information about
The Solent




O FOR A MUSE OF FIRE…
Vaughan Williams's Incidental music to King Henry V & King Richard II
Every track is a world-premiere. This is a CD of great specialist interest performed by a school orchestra.

For more information about
O for a Muse of Fire …


STARS OF THE NIGHT
Songs and violin works by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
To order or for more information about
Stars of the Night
Stars of the Night
The works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, on Albion Records' release The Solent, span a period of fifty years in his life. There are three early compositions that are all world-premiere recordings: Burley Heath, The Solent and Harnham Down from the period 1902–07. Yet another world-premiere recording on the disc is the incidental music to Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, composed in the early 1950s. The CD (ALBCD 016) also includes the three Songs of Travel, that were orchestrated by the composer and the beautiful Four Hymns, in the rare arrangement for tenor, viola and strings. Overall, this is a most exciting release even by Albion Records standards.

Following on from his success on Albion with Hadley's Fen and Flood, the conductor is Paul Daniel and he is joined, in the Songs of Travel, by Roland Wood – fresh from singing Pilgrim at the English National Opera – and by Andrew Kennedy in the Four Hymns. The orchestra is the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

The music to The Solent clearly had a deep significance for Vaughan Williams as he used the haunting melody that opens the work in a number of other compositions including A Sea Symphony (1909) and his Symphony No. 9 in E minor (1957). Listening to these early works will provide fresh understanding of Vaughan Williams' creative ability in the first decade of the 20th century.

The Solent is available from Albion Records at £9.99 plus postage and packing.


Finally, my CD of the year is the recent Albion (ALBCD016) recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams 'Three Impressions for Orchestra', especially 'The Solent.' I have waited for at least 40 years to hear this work, since reading about it in connection with the composer's Ninth Symphony. And it is everything I could have imagined. I must not forget the other 'impressions' – 'Burley Heath' and 'Harnham Down', nor the incidental music to Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge.'  This may not be the most profound music released on CD this year but from my point of view it is the most fascinating. An impressive review by David Barker sets the seal on this disc.
John France
MusicWeb International

With two world premieres – Impressions & Casterbridge – this is a very important release by the recording arm of The Vaughan Williams Society. Often with "lost" works by major composers, one gets a sense of "interesting, but not especially significant", but here, the second Impression – The Solent – that gives the album its name is Vaughan Williams near his best and a major discovery.
David Barker
MusicWeb International

This gem of an album features the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Daniel in a selection of rarely heard works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, some of them receiving their first recording. There's the world premiere recording of Three Impressions for Orchestra. It features the title piece, The Solent, that gives the album its name. Reminiscent of Vaughan Williams' In the Fen Country and also dating from the early 1900s, it's a delicate, melancholy tone poem.

Songs of Travel Book 1 is performed magnificently by the baritone Roland Wood while Four Hymns for Tenor, Viola Obbligato and Strings give scope to shine to the tenor Andrew Kennedy and the viola player Nicholas Bootiman. The album  concludes with another world premiere recording, Vaughan Williams' incidental music for a radio dramatisation of Thomas Hardy's novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge.
Classic FM
CDs can also be ordered by contacting Mark Hammett at albionmrh@btinternet.com or
by post to:

Albion Records
27 Landsdowne Way
Bexhill on Sea
East Sussex
TN40 2UJ