Sir Adrian Boult conducts Elgar & Brahms

ica classics: ICAC5019

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Sir Adrian Boult conducts Elgar & Brahms

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Release date:

26th April 2011




77 minutes


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Sir Adrian Boult conducts Elgar & Brahms


Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

Royal Albert Hall, 17 August 1976


Enigma Variations, Op. 36

Royal Albert Hall Centenary Concert, 29 March 1971

George Thalben-Ball (organ)


John Douglas Todd interviews Sir Adrian Boult (extract from 85th birthday broadcast)




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Sir Adrian Boult (1889–1983), one of the great British conductors of the 20th century, who studied under the legendary Arthur Nikisch in Berlin which make his Brahms interpretations so special.

This fiery 1976 Prom stereo broadcast of Brahms 1 is the only authorised live account available. He recorded the symphony three times in the studio.

The live stereo broadcast of Elgar’s Enigma Variations was sourced from the Royal Albert Hall Centenary Concert on 29 March 1971 and features the alternative organ part played by George Thalben-Ball, one of the most celebrated organists of his time.

The CD is completed by an extract of an interview Boult gave on the occasion of his 85th birthday where he talks about the art of interpretation.

SAMPLE TRACK Brahms Symphony No.1 – 1st movement

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

I. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro

II. Andante sostenuto

III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso

IV. Adagio - Piu andante - Allegro non troppo ma con brio

Edward Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36, "Enigma"


Variation 1: C. A. E. (The Composer's Wife)

Variation 2: H. D. S-P. (Hew David Steuart-Powell)

Variation 3: R. B. T. (Richard Baxter Townshend)

Variation 4: W. M. B. (William Meath Baker)

Variation 5: R. P. A. (Richard Penrose Arnold)

Variation 6: Ysobel (Isabel Fitton)

Variation 7: Troyte (Troyte Griffith)

Variation 8: W. N. (Winifred Norbury)

Variation 9: Nimrod (A. J. Jaeger)

Variation 10: Intermezzo: Dorabella (Dora Penny)

Variation 11: G. R. S. (George Robertson Sinclair)

Variation 12: B. G. N. (Basil G. Nevinson)

Variation 13: Romanza: *** (Lady Mary Lygon)

Variation 14: Finale: E. D. U. (The Composer)

John Douglas Todd interviews Sir Adrian Boult (extract from 85th birthday broadcast)

John Douglas Todd interviews Sir Adrian Boult (extract from 85th birthday broadcast)

Classic FM Magazine

August 2011


“These performances would surpass all superlatives under any circumstance, but what makes them especially incredible is that, despite Boult being in his nineties, they sound like the interpretations of a young man...Many recordings have been released since these first appeared, and yet one would be hard-pushed to name any that can truly top them.”

Sunday Times

15th May 2011

“this Brahms 1 is superbly paced: hard-driven yet flexible, virile yet richly expressive. The opening’s 6/8 — relentless, tragic — has, rightly, the same pulse as the ensuing allegro (where Boult, unusually, observes the repeat). In Elgar, Boult could sometimes misjudge tempo, but not here. From the theme onwards (exquisitely judged), his touch is sure and masterly.”

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