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PRESIDENT: SIR ANDREW DAVIS CBE

Serenade to Music

An Exploration of the Sixteen Singers chosen for the first Performance

In 1938 Sir Henry Wood celebrated 50 years as a conductor. Vaughan Williams was commissioned to write a work for a celebratory Promenade Concert, and wrote Serenade to Music (a setting from ‘The Merchant of Venice’) – adopting the novel idea of writing for sixteen named singers who were well known to both Wood and Vaughan Williams.

Serenade to Music became, therefore, both a commemoration for Sir Henry and a celebration of some of the greatest singers who had worked with him over the years.

This album, of remastered 78 rpm records, includes the first, 1938, recording of Serenade to Music with those singers, made just a few days after the first performance. Uniquely, it also explores each of the sixteen through their other recordings, covering a wide range of musical styles. Eight tracks are thought to have their first reintroduction here in a modern format, and all eighteen have been newly remastered for this album by Peter Reynolds.

A seventeenth singer, Sir Keith Falkner, would have been one of this select group had he not been out of the country, so the final ‘bonus’ track is a recording by him.

TRACK LISTING AND ARTISTS
Cd tray
Vaughan Williams sitting
Vaughan Williams at a rehearsal of Serenade to Music © Pathé Films
CRITICAL REVIEWS

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