, 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