Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews



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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


CD: Crotchet


Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Symphony No. 2 in E flat major Op.63 [52:45]
Overture: In the South (Alassio) Op.50 [19:43]
Sospiri, Op.70 [4:11]
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult
rec. Corn Exchange, Bedford 23 March 1944 (In the South); Great Hall of Bedford School, 3-4, 25 August, 10 October 1944 (Symphony); EMI Studio No.1, Abbey Road 24 March 1937 (Sospiri)
BEULAH 5PD15 [76:37]
Experience Classicsonline

Boultís memorable wartime Elgar Second has already appeared on a previous release from Beulah; some reviewers at the time, while praising the performance, spoke adversely of the relatively high level of surface noise. I am not sure if this re-release incorporates a re-mastering, but to my ears the noise is far from distracting. The recording is given a warm, full-bodied transfer, with a good sense of spatial perspective, a vast improvement on the etiolated 1980s HMV Treasury transfer.
Boult set down five recordings of the work. Three of these were with the LPO (1956, 1968 and 1976) and another with the Scottish National Orchestra in 1963. This wartime version with his own BBC orchestra was his first, and the first of the symphony since the composerís own, made in 1927. Until its reissue on LP and then CD some twenty years ago its virtues had seemingly been forgotten; a pity, for it is inspired throughout. Listen to Boult and the BBC Symphony in the opening movement, where a purposeful opening tempo is maintained throughout, alternating with passages of remarkable rubato and flexibility. This was obviously a piece that Boult and his forces had well under their collective skins. His subsequent recordings, for all their respective merits and improved sound, did not always recapture the pioneering spirit of this first traversal. The central, dark passage in the development is made to sound particularly sinister here, before the music sweeps along to its glorious recapitulation.
Boult paces the elegiac Larghetto admirably, balancing to perfection the passionate and stoical elements in the music. The recording conveys Elgarís carefully graded dynamics, so carefully realised in this performance, to register to moving effect. The peroration of the movement is glorious, and none the less so for being hard-won. The Scherzo in Boultís hands becomes something of a powerhouse; Andrew Keener speaks in his booklet notes of the performanceís ďangerĒ and one can see what he means. The central ďmalign influenceĒ passage is reminiscent of Holstís Mars in its insistent drumming; Boult and the orchestra push the recording technology to the very limit, from which it emerges with flying colours.
In the Finale, where Elgarís argument can sound diffuse in lesser hands, Boultís grip on the structure never loses its concentration. We move from the purposeful opening statement through Elgarís sequential development passages - which can sometimes outstay their welcome - before the music settles back for the home run, as it were. Here Boult draws the musical threads together to deeply satisfying effect, and the performance ends on a note of resolution.
Filling the disc on this occasion is Boultís fine, elegiac 1937 recording of Elgarís Sospiri and a new addition to the Boult discography, a 1944 Bedford BBC Studio production of In the South. The latter has remarkable fire, drive and passion and a sound quality that is astonishing given the circumstances. Donít miss it!
Those who love the symphony may already be familiar with this wonderful performance. If you are new to Elgar, or to Boult, I would urge you to listen to this. Boult and the BBC Symphony project Elgarís ďpassionate pilgrimage of the soulĒ with consistent inspiration. Unforgettable.
Ewan McCormick

see also review by Christopher Howell
(as part of box set 14PD15)


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos 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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1


Cantatas and Organ Works

Complete Songs

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Simone Dinnerstein piano




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

Pat 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.