I have to say that I feel very badly now about the time I purchased Hilary Hahn’s Elgar/Vaughan Williams CD and I had the audacity to complain about Sir Colin Davis humming on the recording. If you listen closely, he hummed when he conducted, kind of like Glenn Gould did but perhaps not as intensely. I actually wanted my money back from DG at the time (I remember being on the phone with them about it, not kidding). I guess he just loved the music so much he couldn’t help himself. Perhaps he’s humming along with the angels right now as we speak.
As for the recording and the performances, they practically speak for themselves. Hilary Hahn plays such a gorgeous part in this that I believe she’s in effect “ruined it” for me in that I can’t hear anyone else portray an ascending lark in such a visceral way after hers. Sir Colin must have been simply carried away making this recording. I hope that he remembered this session as he passed through on Sunday. R.I.P. Maestro.
Ralph Vaughan-Williams (1872-1958)
The Lark Ascending for violin and orchestra (1914)
Hilary Hahn ~ violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis (1927-2013) ~ conductor