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CD Review

Decca Legends

Boult Conducts

London Philharmonic Orchestra/Adrian Boult
Decca Legends 468490-2 ADD 64:25
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Another splendid coupling of vintage Sir Adrian, this time on a 96kHz/24-bit remastered reissue of a Decca classic recording from the late 50's.

You wouldn't normally associate Boult with Rachmaninoff, but his version of the Third Symphony is remarkably successful with fast tempi throughout and a firm sense of grip on the often wayward score. The London Symphony respond superbly to the conductor's charismatic direction and churn out a performance that has rarely been bettered, excepting perhaps Previn and the London Symphony and the more recent Ashkenazy with the Concertgebouw. However, no newcomer to this symphony will feel short changed by this magnificently refurbished recording.

The Vaughan Williams has been available before on a Belart disc, the performance hasn't changed much of course and it is still the one to have alongside Barbirolli's (Dutton) similarly contemporaneous but very different reading.

This Legends reissue has added considerable bloom to the strings and is overall clearer. Michael Kennedy contributes some splendidly effusive notes that recreate the excitement of the years in which Boult was active. This is an indispensable issue for all admirers of this great conductor.

Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech