Menuhin’s second recording (in stereo) in partnership with Sir Adrian Boult is hardly less moving and inspirational than his first. Boult directs the performance and with a passionate thrust in the outer movements and with the warmest Elgarian understanding in the beautiful slow movement. There is an added maturity in Menuhin’s contribution, to compensate for any slight loss of poise or sweetness of tone, and the finale—the most difficult movement to keep together—is stronger, more confident than it was. The 1966 Kingsway Hall recording is characteristically warm and atmospheric, yet vividly focused by the CD transfer. Boult’s personal insight into the problems of Elgar interpretation is well illustrated in the pair of overtures offered as coupling. Though other Elgarians may be more ripely romantic, Boult with his incisiveness is both dramatic and noble, and the early 1970s sound is well up to EMI’s high analogue standard.
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