Elgar is not easy music to bring off.
Boult knew how to bring the "essence" out without histrionics. His tempi started out too fast as in the BBCSO Enigma, which faces us with Nimrod done as jog-trot, and almost as comical as Elgar's own 1926 recording.
But when faced with the BBC SO recording of the Second symphony then it is clear that we are in the company of a great orchestra, a great recording team,and a supremely mature and sagacious director.All the recordings from then on show that Boutt had become the most clear-sighted Elgarian. Not the last word in affection, such as Barbirolli, but nothing left to poor balanced or shoddy balance or phrasing. These are durable performances in that each listening will deepen the comprehension of the music, and the wisdom of the readings.
Thanks be that these performances have re-emerged.