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Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, March 2014

Boult recorded the Symphony commercially five times…He performed it numerous times during a long career. This, however, is something special. The live performance preserved on this disc was the last time Boult conducted this work…this is a capstone to a distinguished series of recordings and a fitting tribute to the artist.

The recording of the Overture and Venusberg Music from Wagner’s Tannhäuser only adds to that appeal…this is currently the only Boult-led Wagner with any voices, in this case the excellent BBC Chorus. As with the Elgar, the performance has a vitality that belies Boult’s age…

It is a disc every devoted Boult fan and/or Elgarian should explore. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Bruce Surtees
The WholeNote, January 2014

The Venusberg ladies are warmly enticing. Arguably, these may be the best versions around of both works. Excellent sound throughout. © 2014 The WholeNote Read complete review

Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, October 2013

From a concert at Royal Albert Hall, London, 24 July 1977, Sir Adrian Boult…leads the Elgar E-flat Symphony for the last time, with Boult’s enjoying what critics call his “Indian summer” of renewed artistic energy.

Boult has guided the entire magnum opus with a sure hand for its potent shifts of mood and temperament, always realized in a majestic style, to which the London audience responds gratefully.

It seems less than coincidence that ICA attaches Sir Adrian Boult’s studio performance of Wagner’s Tannhauser Overture and Venusberg Music (8 December 1968) to the Elgar, especially since he had not inscribed these for his series of EMI Wagner recordings. Even for a studio tape, this realization enjoys a decidedly “present” ambiance, and the BBC strings and brass project an especially alert sound, the famous hymn’s rising above illumined violins. We feel privileged to have an extended moment of Wagner that bask in the warm clarity of Boult’s design. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

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