Edward Elgar - Symphonies 1 & 2

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Adrian Boult, conductor

Label: Lyrita
Copyright: 2007 Lyrita Recorded Edition, England
Catalogue number: SRCD.221
UPC/EAN: 5020926022127
Format: CD
Analogue / Digital recording: ADD
Number of discs: 2
Total playing time: 99.53
Price: £ 14.99 (+ postage & packing)

CD 1: Recorded at Walthamstow Assembly Hall, January 1968
CD 2: No recording information available

Elgarís two symphonies have a special place in English musical history. When they were first played they towered head and shoulders - in sheer technique, let alone content - above previous symphonic offerings by British composers. Today when we have the magnificent symphonies of Vaughan Williams, Walton, Bax, Rubbra, Britten and others to set beside them, they still stand apart, having already achieved the status of classics. Their mastery may have been equalled - it has not been surpassed.

"These performances should fascinate because they have languished in vinyl oblivion for so long. People are bound to compare them with Boult of the 1940s and more probably with Boult of the mid-1970s when EMI brought out sumptuous but oddly underpowered recordings of the same two symphonies. There is in truth more grip and dynamism in these two recordings ..." Rob Barnett, www.musicweb-international.com Click here to read the full review

"'Wow' isnít a word used in classical music reviewing but this Lyrita re-issue deserves it and I use it because Iím of an age to have the original 1968 vinyls, so there! After playing the 'brat' card I must start with something unusual from my pen when I say that the digital remastering by Simon Gibson pulls even more sonic range and detail from the master tapes than are on the LPs ..." Stephen Hall, www.musicweb-international.com Click here to read the full review

"So, yes, the long unavailability of these performances should not have been equated by me with below-par performances in a fraught recording studio, if thatís what it was. Boult admirers have many performances of his on which to draw when it comes to the Elgar symphonies. These were not his first nor his last words on the subject but they sit wisely and well and not especially transitionally, in the corpus of his Elgar discs. In truth then not essential Ė but very valuable." Jonathan Woolf, www.musicweb-international.com Click here to read the full review

"For another attractive feature, these recordings have stunningly focused analog sound that seems almost as transparent and alive as any digital recording, without a trace of tape hiss or any other engineering defect ..." Blair Sanderson, www.allmusic.com Click here to read the full review

Disc 1
Symphony No. 1 in A flat Op.55 (1908) Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934) 48.37
1 I Andante. Nobilmente e semplice - Allegro 18.28
2 II Allegro molto 7.14
3 III Adagio 10.27
4 IV Lento - Allegro 12.24
Disc 2
Symphony No. 2 in E flat Op. 63 (1911) Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934) 51.16
1 I Allegro vivace e nobilmente 16.31
2 II Larghetto 13.17
3 III Rondo (Presto) 8.26
4 IV Moderato e maestoso 12.58