Elgar-Gerontius-HeddleNash : Although sound-quality is well below modern standards, it's good for its day, and the ear quickly adjusts. Nash has an old-fashioned 'clipped' enunciation (with just a little Welsh seasoning), which modern listeners may find odd - but you can hear every word, clearly & distinctly. The conducting & orchestral playing is rapt - from the very first note, there is an intensity of concentration. The music moves like a tide - slow but relentless, with a constant onward pressure. Be warned : this isn't background music, it needs your full attention (preferably in a dimly-lit room with no distractions) - Gerontius is an experience, not an amusement. And it is a wonderful experience.
From the first quiet notes of the prelude to the achingly beautiful Angel's Farewell this is a wonderful performance of Elgar's masterpiece. All the contributions are excellent - but then, you would expect this with Malcolm Sargent, Elgar's friend and disciple, in charge. The sound is dated - but the transfer from the original LP discs is very good.
I new very little of this piece and only bought it because of the price. I like Elgar so hoped to enjoy this. It is a lovely recording with good sound quality and I love the tenor's voice. Each time I listen to it I enjoy it more, as I grow more familiar with it. At this very low price it's a snip!