One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger



Pristine Audio

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
The Dream of Gerontius
Op.38 (1900)
Heddle Nash (tenor)
Gladys Ripley (contralto)
Dennis Noble (baritone)
Norman Walker (bass)
Huddersfield Choral Society
Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Malcolm Sargent
rec. Huddersfield Town Hall between 8 & 12 April 1945.

PRISTINE AUDIO PACO009 [55.00 + 35.08]

I’ve had my say on this performance in my review of a competing transfer on Pearl, where it’s coupled with Gladys Ripley’s underrated Sea Pictures (see review). Superlatives apart, there is now another competing version of this 1945 Gerontius on Testament, coupled with Tortelier’s first Cello Concerto reading with Sargent conducting and to which I’ve not had access for comparative listening purposes.
A new entrant is always welcome and so this one makes three versions of the most incandescent and valuable – and in my view greatest – recording of Gerontius ever committed to disc. Andrew Rose’s Pristine Audio, an increasingly adventurous outfit in the restoration of gems to the catalogue, now adds another complicating factor to the equation, given their price-list and the fact that this is issued without coupling. Go to Pristine Audio’s website for their newly streamlined pricing structure.
With regard to the transfers I find that, for my taste, the lower to mid frequency response tends to predominate and the upper frequencies are dampened in the interest of shellac suppression. Nash’s voice does sound rather distant in comparison with the relatively unfiltered Pearl sound and the clarion declamation of his Rouse Thee, My Fainting Soul is distinctly muffled here. The orchestral tone colours are also more muted – note the string separation in Proficiscere, Anima Christiana which is that much more clarified in the Pearl. This applies equally to things like the clarinet writing in the opening of the Second Part or the under-powering Take Me Away.
Still there is room for all tastes. Mine are strongly for the Pearl; not having heard the Testament I can’t comment on their work. Pristine Audio offers a versatile policy with regard to up to date technology so that may tempt you.
Jonathan Woolf  


Pristine Audio



We are currently offering in excess of 52,619 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to 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.