This was recorded very late in Sir Adrian's life, the last of his recordings of the Elgar oratorios. I think it's the best. Everything seems right - the pacing, the phrasing, the atmosphere. The Demons' Chorus is not just exciting but rasping and angry, the build-up to 'Praise to the Holiest' inexorable and beautifully paced so that the climax when the praise-song comes is overwhelming .. and then it is even more powerful as the song moves on and, speeding up, intensifies. As for the moment when Gerontius sees God for an instant, which I suppose is the spiritual climax of the whole work, that is devastating. All the quieter passages are handled with great beauty and gentleness, so that the performance operates effectively on all the levels of the work and creates a very satisfying whole. The soloists are marvellous, particularly Nicolai Gedda as the most ringing-toned but also vulnerable Gerontius on CD. The recording is well balanced and very natural. It's a Penguin three-start asterisked set, and that is no surprise. Certainly one to hear. 'The Music Makers' with Janet Baker is a good bonus and, uneven as it is, is very fine in this performance, though the choir is balanced a little backwardly.