BEST OF BRITISH 20TH CENTURY CLASSICS / Davis 4777332

The evening's finest achievement was Vaughan Williams's wartime Fifth Symphony. This poetic and melancholy work, full of exposed solo writing, showed off the considerable talents of the BBCSO. Each section -- solo violin, cor anglais, horns, cellos and basses especially -- shaped the score with heartfelt intensity, notably in the visionary third movement.

With Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra on crisp, alert form, the soloists in this welcome revival were violinist Daniel Hope, viola player Philip Dukes and cellist Christian Poltéra, all outstanding players in their own right . . . Vaughan Williams's Fifth Symphony . . . was beautifully unfolded, its echoes of Sibelius in the first movement nicely touched in, and the final passacaglia steered to a radiantly peaceful conclusion . . .