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Penguin Guide, January 2009

As music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra James Judd draws warmly expressive performances from his players in this attractive group of favourite Vaughan Williams works, helped by richly resonant recording. A sequence of recordings by this orchestra has demonstrated what a fine body it has become, and there are outstanding solo contributions from the leading string-players in the Tallis Fantasia. The folk-based writing of the Norfolk Rhapsody and the impressionistic study In the Fen Country are given a satisfying firmness of purpose, with climaxes surging passionately. The Greensleeves Fantasia is treated with a degree of reserve, avoiding all sentimentality, and although the Concerto grosso, with its contrasted groups of players is a degree less polished in ensemble, the warmth and impulsiveness make ample amends, helped by the full-bodied sound.



Scott Morrison
Amazon.com, August 2003

"There have certainly been many wonderful recordings of the popular short orchestral pieces of Ralph Vaughan Williams...For someone coming to these pieces for the first time, though, this issue deserves real consideration...played here by one of the top orchestras Down Under, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra led by British conductor James Judd, whose recordings with this orchestra and the Florida Philharmonic have made his name familiar to discerning record collectors...This issue deserves real praise. Even though this is a budget CD the performances are comparable to the top echelon of full-price releases, and are better than many of them. You can't go wrong here. The playing is nuanced, the sound is crystal clear. The wide dynamic range makes it possible to hear the utterly soft playing called for in, say, the Tallis Fantasia as well as the full climaxes in that and the other pieces. Recommended."



Edward Greenfield
Gramophone, August 2003

"Helped by vivid sound, James Judd conducts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in glowing performances of these favourite [sic] Vaughan Williams works. There have been a number of discs from this orchestra in recent years, but here Judd shows what quality of player the orchestra now attracts, especially in its ripely resonant string tone. The whole is nicely balanced in a warm but clear acoustic. There is good solo work, too, from the leading string players as well as the woodwind and brass soloists."






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9:12:45 PM, 28 July 2014
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