Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 6

Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 6

In March 2021, it was announced that Antonio Pappano would become chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra beginning in 2024—and this is their first release since that news. Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 4 and Symphony No. 6 are his most uncompromising. The brutal Fourth, from 1935, explodes ominously, Shostakovich-like, from the blocks. The LSO is razor-sharp: The brass is piercing and the strings menacing, while the woodwind playing in the plangent second movement is terrific. The jagged “Scherzo” is as dramatic as any recorded music, while the angular “Finale” blazes to a furious climax. In the postwar Sixth Symphony, Pappano brings raw anguish to the opening, a prelude to one of English music’s most glorious themes. The tension in the terrifying “Moderato” and “Scherzo” is palpable, and the whispered “Epilogue” has never sounded so eerie.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada