MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

alternatively Crotchet

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
In the South (Alassio), Op. 50 (1904) [23:14]
Sea Pictures, Op. 37 (1899) [22:56]
Enigma Variations, Op. 36 (1899) [31:48]
Gladys Ripley (contralto)
London Symphony Orchestra/George Weldon
Philharmonia Orchestra/George Weldon (Enigma)
rec. Abbey Road Studio No. 1, 1954; Kingsway Hall, London, 1953 (Enigma). ADD
SOMM SOMMCD073 [78:11]
Experience Classicsonline

George Weldon (1908-1963) was conductor of the City of Birmingham Orchestra from 1944 to 1951 and succeeded Leslie Heward. The orchestra gained the word ‘Symphony’ in 1948 becoming the CBSO during Weldon’s ‘watch’. His was a local reputation and one that has not maintained its grip since his death in South Africa in 1963. Despite this he recorded energetically for EMI Classics and other companies and was adored for much of his time in Birmingham. His artistry we will come to but his looks lent him a certain glamour. One might say the same thing of George Hurst who worked for years with the Bournemouth orchestra. Always dapper Hurst was a superb interpreter of Tchaikovsky amongst much else and had an inspired Holst Planets recording to his name (Contour LP). In this connection Weldon might be remembered by some for appearing with his beloved E-Type Jaguar in a photograph on the front of an EMI LP ‘British Light Music of the 20th Century’. Weldon studied at the Royal College where his conducting teacher was Malcolm Sargent. He later worked as understudy to composer-conductor Julius Harrison at Hastings. His time at Birmingham ended badly with a ‘palace coup’ following adverse critical notices. Barbirolli promptly snapped him up as an assistant in Manchester.

Brian Culverhouse worked for EMI (1951-72) and made the Sea Pictures and Alassio recordings with him. He also remastered all the recordings heard here including Walter Legge’s sessions for the Enigma from the original EMI tapes. There are 82 titles made for EMI with Legge. Culverhouse embarked on the digital remastering as a ‘tribute to a remarkable conductor and a fine friend’. The results featured on this generously time CD would I am sure have pleased Weldon and may, I hope, result in further reissues.

Weldon’s In the South is swashbuckling and poetic but without quite the superheated passion of Silvestri’s reference recording with the Bournemouth Symphony or Sinopoli’s coupled with the symphonies on DG. There is however more warmth and unbridled excitement here than in Boult’s final EMI recording. His Sea Pictures with Gladys Ripley is ripe and mainstream. She surprises by combining that typically English contralto-plummy delivery with intelligent attention to enunciation of the words – which are printed in the booklet in full. Both Weldon and Ripley make Where Corals Lie really dance; not a shadow of lassitude or smugness. A new favourite version for me. Weldon’s Enigma can be very gentle, witty, balletic and delicate. It comes as no surprise to learn that Elgar was Weldon’s favourite composer. One can feel the enjoyment in much the same way as this quality radiates out of certain of Bernstein’s and Rozhdestvensky’s recordings. He will appeal to the Elgar mainstream but for me in this work he does not supplant the Barenboim and Beecham versions.

The words of the Sea Pictures poems are reproduced in full in the booklet.

Fine idiosyncratic Elgar from five decades ago and in honest transfers.

Rob Barnett


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.