Magazine article Gramophone

Boult's Very Last Elgar Second Live from the 1977 Proms

Magazine article Gramophone

Boult's Very Last Elgar Second Live from the 1977 Proms

Article excerpt

Elgar * Wagner

Elgar Symphony No 2, Op 63 (a) Wagner Tannhauser--Overture & Venusberg Music (b)

(b) BBC Chorus; BBC Symphony Orchestra / Sir Adrian Boult

ICA Classics [F] ICAC5106 (74' * DDO)

Recorded live at bBBC Maida Vale, December 8,1968;

(a) Royal Albert Hall, London, July 24,1977

Here's a welcome companion release to ICA Classics' recent restoration (8/12) of Boult's blistering Elgar First from the 1976 Proms. Captured by the BBC microphones in July of the following Proms season, this was Sir Adrian's very last performance of the Second Symphony, a work he recorded on no fewer than five occasions and first conducted (with the LSO) in March 1920--indeed, the latter Queen's Hall concert was pivotal to the symphony's subsequent rehabilitation and prompted the composer to write to the budding maestro with sincere gratitude ('I feel that my reputation in the future is safe in your hands').

Back to the present version, though, and what treasure-trove it comprises. Not only do the BBC SO play with heartfelt commitment for their beloved founder and former chief but the 88-year-old Boult directs with unerring grip and thrusting vigour. …

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