Vaughan Williams's colorful second symphony and his sublime choral setting of a passage from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (in its original version for 16 solo singers) are combined in a must-have CD for lovers of this composer.
"Here indeed is a conductor with a very definite point of view, and one very much worth hearing…. The norm in playing this work is to emphasize the Impressionist element in Vaughan Williams's compositional technique by blurring the various sections of the orchestra into a somewhat misty haze of orchestral sound. Instead, Seaman highlights every note with a pointillistic clarity—the aural equivalent of Seurat's La Grande Jatte rather than Monet's cathedrals and haystacks…. It works brilliantly…. As for the Serenade to Music, the unnamed singers of the Mercury Opera Rochester acquit themselves nobly in a beautifully pellucid rendition."—Fanfare
"In the Lento second movement Seaman pays careful attention to rhythm and flow; the climax is passionate but urgent, never merely heavy. It's a very beautiful performance, and the tricky finale is perfectly paced, with a huge central climax and a wonderfully atmospheric epilog…. Make no mistake, the music-making is special."—Classics Today