In my view, this is the best recorded performance of the symphony so far. Previously, I had agreed with the wide consensus and put Paul Daniel in the top spot, but I think Hickox pips him. Most particuarly there is his handling of the second movement. I have always considered this the weak point of the symphony, unfairly to Elgar who was going to include a harmonic sideslip 'that will knock them all flat'. Unfortunately, no one knows what he intended. Nevertheless, I feel that Richard Hickox makes this movement feel like what it was surely intended to be, a reprise between the intensity of the opening and slow movements, rather than a lapse, and he gives it a sense of substance and rythmical impetus lacking elsewhere, as, indeed, he does to the entire symphony.
As for Pomp and Circumstance No.6, I disagree with the previous comment. I find it utterly convincing. Anthony Payne has said that he sometimes feels as though Elgar is standing at his shoulder. He was certainly doing so here. As for the most magical moment for me, the second entry of the trio tune, I think Elgar's ghost must have whispered in Payne's ear.