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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
By 
R. Kenchington (Stamford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sir Adrian Boult - Elgar: The Complete EMI Recordings (Audio CD)
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. Nearly 40 years after Sir Adrian made the last of these recordings, their natural authority and expressive power remains undimmed - at least for this listener.

Whether you're a seasoned Elgarian or a newcomer to this wonderful music, this handsomely presented 19CD set is an essential addition to any classical collection.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Boult Elgar Collection from EMI, 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Sir Adrian Boult - Elgar: The Complete EMI Recordings (Audio CD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars vintage performances., 20 Oct 2013
By 
G. Crook "Waterloo tragic" (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sir Adrian Boult - Elgar: The Complete EMI Recordings (Audio CD)
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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Sir Adrian Boult - Elgar: The Complete EMI Recordings
Sir Adrian Boult - Elgar: The Complete EMI Recordings by Sir Adrian Boult (Audio CD - 2013)
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