Copyright was fast running out and the manuscripts would be free for all and sundry to tinker with come January 2005.Thus, Elgar's heirs took the laudable and sensible decision of commissioning Anthony Payne to complete an 'elaboration' of the third Symphony in 1995.
A great success at the première at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in 1998, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Davis's baton, the work has gone on to immense international acclaim and is gradually assuming a well-deserved place in the symphonic repertoire of orchestras the world over.
William Reed, a long time companion of the composer, and the much-esteemed leader of the London Symphony Orchestra, worked on the sketches for Pomp & Circumstance March No.6 on numerous occasions with Elgar accompanying Reed's violin. It was to Reed that the terminally ill Elgar uttered the famous words, "Don't let them tinker with it, Billy - burn it!" Billy Reed didn't consign the sketches to the bonfire, but it wasn't until 2006 that Anthony Payne completed March No.6 in fine style.This is only the second recording.
“Otaka and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra need to lighten their plodding tread a little in the two Elgar works realised with ghost-like authenticity here by Anthony Payne. The Sapporo musicians play with precision and bright brasses but the Third Symphony wears thin for want of magic. The dancing scherzo lacks sensuousness. The finale becomes impatient through grinding, successive false endings.” The Times, 12th April 2008 ***
“A meticulous Third from an unexpected source - but the competition is fierce.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2008
“The first movement unfolds in a single expansion sweep without ever sounding hurried, while the wonderful Adagio builds to its awe-inspiring climax with a steady inevitability that strongly recalls Bruckner.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2008 ***