26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
wonderfully ardent, very operatic and with Janet Baker!,
This review is from: Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius (Audio CD)
This is a marvellous performance. I'll say straight away that I prefer the Boult reading, which is very different, but I could quite understand others judging differently. For me, the Boult version has a greater sense of unity and spirituality without any loss of excitement or tenderness, and I greatly admire Gedda's Gerontius and the contributions of Robert Lloyd, who is a good deal better than Kim Borg. The sound is also more recent. But here you have a tremendous sense of commitment and vividness, and the unequalled Janet Baker. I have known both versions for very many years and have never changed my view that Boult's gives a more complete and more musically satisfying picture of this uneven but very wonderful work, but Barbirolli provides something which, as you hear it, is completely convincing too, if you except Borg, who is a definite weak link. No-one could fail to be impressed by this fine performance, but I think there is better to be had.