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Sir Adrian Boult - Elgar: The Complete EMI Recordings [Box set]

Sir Adrian Boult , Sir Edward Elgar Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 42.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Sir Adrian Boult - Elgar: The Complete EMI Recordings + Sir Adrian Boult - Vaughan Williams: The Complete EMI Recordings + The Complete Conductor - From Tchaikovsky To Gershwin
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Product details

  • Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult
  • Composer: Sir Edward Elgar
  • Audio CD (3 Jun 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 19
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI CLASSICS.
  • ASIN: B00C68FJ0K
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,786 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Adrian's long-awaited Elgar box! 18 Jun 2013
At last! After nearly 10 years of campaigning, all of Sir Adrian Boult's EMI recordings of Elgar are finally brought together in one competitively priced box set.

And what a magnificent set it is too! Two versions apiece of the two symphonies, two 'In the South' overtures, two 'Falstaff's, two violin concertos and no less than four versions of the 'Enigma' Variations. In essence, these recordings offer a complete survey of Sir Adrian as the Elgar interpreter par excellence, beginning in 1920 and finishing in 1978 - practically the whole of his conducting career.

It's all here: overtures, marches, preludes, choral music and even a fascinating talk from Sir Adrian himself about 'The Apostles' and 'The Kingdom'.

It's fascinating to hear how Boult's performances developed over this period, from the no-nonsense urgency of the famous 1944 second symphony, to the glowing expanse of those classic 1960s and '70s recordings of 'The Dream of Gerontius' and smaller, more incidental treasures like 'Dream Children', 'The Wand of Youth' and 'The Sanguine Fan'.

Indeed, Boult's approach to Elgar's music ripened over the years - markedly so following the death of Barbirolli. After Sir John's passing, Sir Adrian felt he could introduce a more affectionate quality to his own performances - a quality you can hear in those lovingly conducted late versions of the symphonies, 'Cockaigne' and 'In the South'.

But whether it's tautly-conceived early recordings or 'Indian Summer' remakes, Boult's Elgar remained consistent in its approach to long-term structural control, clear orchestral balance and a painstaking fidelity to both the letter and the spirit of the score.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Boult Elgar Collection from EMI 17 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase
This release is self-recommending. Especially of interest are the BBCSO Enigma Variations (1937) and Second Symphony (1944) - both in excellent transfers! Also included are the superb Testament transfers of the post WWII LPO recordings (Symphony I & Falstaff etc). Otherwise all the other famous EMI material is included (including Philp Ledger's recording of Coronation Ode) - a veritable cornucopia of glorious music making in excellent transfers. Elgar was magnificently served by Sir Adrian Boult during a very lengthy and distinguished conducting career. Do not miss this release under any circumstances!
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"I feel that my reputation in the future is safe in your hands... Bless you!"
- Sir Edward Elgar to 27 year-old Adrian Boult (1920).

This 19 CD box contains all of Sir Adrian Boult's EMI recordings of Elgar,
from the 1932 BBC recording of Chopin's Funeral March (two years before Elgar's death)
to the 1978 Violin Concerto with Ida Haendel and the London Philharmonic (the year Boult retired from conducting).

There are a number of duplicates -
14 works were recorded twice, The Introduction and Allegro three times, and The Enigma Variations four times.
All are in this box.
Recorded 1967-1977 unless otherwise noted:

The Apostles
Bavarian Dances
Carillon
Chanson de Nuit and Chanson de Matin
Cockaigne Overture
Concerto for Cello (Pablo Casals - 1945 mono, Paul Tortelier - 1972 stereo)
Concerto for Violin (Yehudi Menuhin - 1965, Ida Haendel - 1978, both stereo)
Dream Children (1955 mono, 1974 stereo)

The Dream of Gerontius
The Dream of Gerontius, Prelude (1934 mono)
Elegy for strings
Empire March
Enigma Variations (1936 and 1953 mono, 1961 and 1976 stereo)
Falstaff - Symphonic Study (1950 mono, 1973 stereo)
Fantasia & Fugue in C minor - after Bach, BWV 537 (1949 mono, 1973 stereo)
Froissart Overture (1955 mono, 1971 stereo)

Funeral March (Chopin orch. Elgar) (1932 mono, 1974 stereo)
Grania and Diarmid, Op.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars vintage performances. 20 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase
Barbirolli might havbe done the best two Elgar symphonies,but overall cannot match the style and overall impact of the magnum opus of Elgar's life's work here.Anyway,the two conductors weren't 'better' or .worse.'
In a style,for example,Boult's 'Dream of Gerontius.is broad and dramatic while Barbirolli's is slightly more reflective.
anyway,where else can you now purchase a recording of 'The Apostles 'or 'The Kingdom'?
Wonderful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by the World's Foremost Authority on the Music of Edward Elgar 29 Jun 2014
By John Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
"I feel that my reputation in the future is safe in your hands... Bless you!"
- Sir Edward Elgar to 27 year-old Adrian Boult (1920).

This 19 CD box contains all of Sir Adrian Boult's EMI recordings of Elgar,
from the 1932 BBC recording of Chopin's Funeral March (two years before Elgar's death)
to the 1978 Violin Concerto with Ida Haendel and the London Philharmonic (the year Boult retired from conducting).

There are a number of duplicates -
14 works were recorded twice, The Introduction and Allegro three times, and The Enigma Variations four times.
All are in this box.
Recorded 1967-1977 unless otherwise noted:

The Apostles
Bavarian Dances
Carillon
Chanson de Nuit and Chanson de Matin
Cockaigne Overture
Concerto for Cello (Pablo Casals - 1945 mono, Paul Tortelier - 1972 stereo)
Concerto for Violin (Yehudi Menuhin - 1965, Ida Haendel - 1978, both stereo)
Dream Children (1955 mono, 1974 stereo)

The Dream of Gerontius
The Dream of Gerontius, Prelude (1934 mono)
Elegy for strings
Empire March
Enigma Variations (1936 and 1953 mono, 1961 and 1976 stereo)
Falstaff - Symphonic Study (1950 mono, 1973 stereo)
Fantasia & Fugue in C minor - after Bach, BWV 537 (1949 mono, 1973 stereo)
Froissart Overture (1955 mono, 1971 stereo)

Funeral March (Chopin orch. Elgar) (1932 mono, 1974 stereo)
Grania and Diarmid, Op.42 - Incidental Music
Imperial March (1937 mono, 1976 stereo)
In the South (Alassio) Overture (1955 mono, 1970 stereo)
Introduction & Allegro for strings (1937 mono, 1961 and 1972 stereo)
The Kingdom
Meditation from "The Light of Life"
The Music Makers

Nursery Suite (1955 mono)
Overture in D minor - after Handel, HWV247
Polonia
Pomp and Circumstance Marches Nos. 1-5 (1955 mono, 1976 stereo)
Pomp and Circumstance March No. 3 (1953 mono)
The Sanguine Fan
Serenade for Strings
Sospiri

Symphony No. 1 (1949 mono, 1976 stereo)
Symphony No. 2 (1944 mono, 1976 stereo)
Triumphal March from "Caractacus"
Wand of Youth Suite No. 1 (1953 mono, 1967 stereo)
Wand of Youth Suite No. 2

+ "The Apostles & The Kingdom: An illustrated introduction by Sir Adrian Boult"
+ Coronation Ode, Op. 44 - conducted by Philip Ledger

Pretty much self-recommending, if the World's Foremost Authority can be trusted, and especially so at the price.

Sound: Nothing has been newly remastered for this box.
Existing EMI stereo, and EMI and Testament mono CD masters have been used.
No complaints about the sound.

My only disappointment is with the presentation of the three big choral works that Boult recorded between 1968 and 1975.
Nothing wrong with the performances, but the documentation is minimal, contrasted with the lavish presentation of the first CD release:

The Apostles: Apostles
The Kingdom: Elgar: The Kingdom Op 51 / Coronation Ode Op 44
The Dream of Gerontius: Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, The Music Makers - or - Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius - The Music Makers / Gedda, Watts, Lloyd, Baker; Boult

I would also avoid this 6 CD box of Elgar Choral Music: Choral Works
The documentation there is also minimal.
The works are sung in English, but a printed text is still essential.

P.S. EMI (Warner) has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Elgar.
Sir John Barbirolli, a contemporary of Boult, also recorded many of these works for EMI.
His relationship with the composer went back to the 1919 premiere of the Cello Concerto - Elgar conducted and Barbirolli was in the orchestra.

Barbirolli's stereo Elgar recordings are on: British Composers: Sir John Barbirolli Conducts Elgar - and - Dream of Gerontius
Dutton and The Barbirolli Society have done a good job in making his earlier mono recordings available.
It would be nice if Warner would gather everything together and release it in one really big box.

Also recommended by the World's Foremost Authority.
More indulgent interpretations than the classically trained Boult
(I used to think I preferred Barbirolli. Now I'm not so sure).
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