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This review is from: Vaughan Williams: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
These are the performances of the symphonies against which all others must be measured. Boult was associated with RVW throughout his life, being present at the premiere of A Sea Symphony in 1910, later conducting the first perfomances of the 3rd, 4th and 6th symphonies, and of course recording these in 1952, 1953, 1956 and 1958, all in the presence of the great man [except for the 9th, as other reviewers have mentioned - though RVW was actively planning to attend the recording in Walthamstow Town Hall on the night of his death]. I grew up with Boult's later EMI recordings, which I still love, and Previn's and Haitink's cycles are also superb, but there's something special about this set. Still sounding wonderful, despite the years, this is the one I turn to most. The 5th has never sounded more radiant.