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Sir Adrian Boult - The Complete Conductor

Holst / Howells / Walton / Bbc Sym Orch / Boult
Release Date: 02/25/2014 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 1927023   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sir Edward ElgarGustav HolstRobert SimpsonSir Arthur Bliss,   ... 
Performer:  Felicity Palmer
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony OrchestraLondon Philharmonic OrchestraNew Philharmonia Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 10 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The first half of this collection focuses on Holst and Parry, music for which he cared deeply, but the second half shows a more playful side to his musical personality, in Russian Romantic dances, suites and overtures, and in the lighter repertoire of marches and intermezzi that was once staple fare and can still charm and entertain in equal measure.

The final CD is a potpourri of popular orchestral works including marches from a variety of countries in Europe and the U.S.A. Many of these recordings are making their first appearance on CD.

R E V I E W:

This last box of Boult contains six discs of English music, plus four of everything else he recorded for EMI, Tchaikovsky in particular. On the English side, you
Read more get three versions of The Planets, all pretty terrific, including Boult’s 1945 recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, plus his marvelous performance of Holst’s A Choral Symphony. There is also a leftover version of Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for some reason not included in the Elgar box, plus Simpson’s First Symphony (not special), Howells’ Concerto for String Orchestra, Bliss’ Music for Strings, a disc of very dull music by everyone’s “beloved master,” Hubert Parry, and a swell collection of English light music by Walton, Alford, Coates, Butterworth, Smyth, and a few others.

The last four discs consist of music by foreigners, Tchaikovsky mostly, but also Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka, Smetana, and more encores and bon-bons. Beecham would have called them “lollipops,” except that Sousa marches don’t normally remind one of confectionary. In these last four discs, Boult’s strengths and weaknesses as a conductor are especially audible. There’s a very good disc containing Tchaikovsky’s Third Suite, the Capriccio italien, the Marche slave, and the Gopak from Mazeppa. In the Marche slave, especially, Boult manages to slam on the breaks for the screechy climax in rousing fashion, but without a shred of vulgarity, and that’s quite an achievement. Indeed, the easy, Edwardian swagger he brings to march music generally is everywhere evident, whether in Walton’s Crown Imperial or Sousa’s The Liberty Bell.

On the other hand, the same casual handling of rhythm that makes the marches swing causes problems in plenty of other pieces. The battle music in Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet is far too relaxed. The ballet suites from The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty have little passion and suffer from some striking examples of flabby rhythm. Gershwin’s Cuban Overture opens with an appalling combination of stiffness and sloppiness, with the Latin percussion far too loud and sounding more like rush hour in Piccadilly Circus. Boult’s tolerance for slack ensemble takes what ought to be some really exciting moments, such as the conclusion of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol, and makes them sound slower and heavier than the actual tempos would suggest.

It’s really quite strange: next to his admirable willingness to make a hellish din, as at the end of the 1812 Overture, he dispatches succulent encores such as Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance or Saint-Saëns’ Danse macabre with the unsmiling efficiency of a governess taking out the trash. But then, that was the man, and you certainly cannot say that his temperament is not on display in the music making here, warts and all. The quality of engineering varies, obviously, not just between 1945 and the modern stereo recordings, but within those as well, running the gamut from acceptable to superb (the 1978 version of The Planets). Don’t expect this collection to last long in the catalog.

-- ClassicsToday.com

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Works on This Recording

1.
Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and String Orchestra, Op. 47 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904-1905; England 
2.
The Planets, Op. 32/H 125 by Gustav Holst
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; England 
Date of Recording: 1979 
3.
The Planets, Op. 32/H 125 by Gustav Holst
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; England 
4.
The Planets, Op. 32/H 125 by Gustav Holst
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Ladies Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; England 
Date of Recording: 1966 
5.
Symphony no 1 by Robert Simpson
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; England 
6.
First Choral Symphony, Op. 41/H 155 by Gustav Holst
Performer:  Felicity Palmer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923-1924; England 
Length: 49 Minutes 30 Secs. 
7.
Music for Strings, F 123 by Sir Arthur Bliss
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; England 
8.
Concerto for Strings by Herbert Howells
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; England 
9.
Symphony no 5 in B minor "Symphonic fantasia" by Charles Hubert Parry
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
10.
Elegy for Brahms by Charles Hubert Parry
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; England 
11.
Blest Pair of Sirens (At a Solemn Music) by Charles Hubert Parry
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; England 
12.
Symphonic Variations in E minor by Charles Hubert Parry
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; England 
13.
Washington Post by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
14.
The British Grenadiers by Anonymous
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1770; England 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
15.
Under the Double Eagle, Op. 159 by Josef Franz Wagner
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
16.
Colonel Bogey by Kenneth Alford
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1913; England 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
17.
Lillibulero by Traditional
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
18.
Liberty Bell by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
19.
Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
20.
The Dam Busters by Eric Coates
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; England 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
21.
El Capitan (march) by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
22.
Victory at Sea: Guadalcanal March by Richard Rodgers
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952-1954; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
23.
Old Comrades by Carl Teike
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
24.
March for the Royal Air Force by Henry Walford Davies
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
25.
Anchors Aweigh by Charles A. Zimmerman
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
26.
Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/1968 
27.
A Shropshire Lad by George Butterworth
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
28.
Interlinked French Melodies (2) from "Entente cordiale" by Smyth, Ethel, Dame
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Light Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; England 
29.
Fête galante: Minuet by Smyth, Ethel, Dame
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Light Symphony Orchestra
30.
Portsmouth Point by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; England 
31.
Coronation March "Crown Imperial" by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
32.
Suite for Orchestra no 3 in G major, Op. 55 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Russia 
33.
Capriccio italien, Op. 45 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
34.
Marche slave, Op. 31 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Russia 
35.
Mazeppa: Cossack Dance by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881-1883; Russia 
36.
1812 Overture, Op. 49 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
37.
Romeo and Juliet Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869/1880; Russia 
38.
Russlan and Ludmilla: Overture by Mikhail Glinka
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1842; Russia 
39.
Circus Polka by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 
40.
Bartered Bride, B 143/T 93: Polka by Bedrich Smetana
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863/1870; Czech Republic 
41.
Bartered Bride, B 143/T 93: Overture by Bedrich Smetana
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1866 
42.
Bartered Bride, B 143/T 93: Furiant by Bedrich Smetana
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863/1870; Czech Republic 
43.
Bartered Bride, B 143/T 93: Dance of the Comedians by Bedrich Smetana
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863/1870; Bohemia 
44.
Má vlast: no 2, Moldau, T 111 by Bedrich Smetana
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Czech Republic 
45.
Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Russia 
46.
Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
47.
I gioielli della Madonna: Act 2 Intermezzo by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1911 
48.
La Gioconda: Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
49.
Danse macabre in G minor, Op. 40 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; France 
50.
El amor brujo: Danza rituel del fuego "Ritual Fire Dance" by Manuel de Falla
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1915; Spain 
51.
Cuban Overture by George Gershwin
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; USA 
52.
Snow Maiden: Suite - Dance of the Tumblers by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880/1895; Russia 
53.
Mlada: Procession of the Nobles by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1872 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Not Boult's Best March 28, 2014 By J. Graham (Lansing, MI) See All My Reviews "I am a great admirer of Sir Adrian Boult's music-making, so I had to add this set to my collection. It's definitely a mixed bag. You get two exceptional performances of Holst's "The Planets," with the BBC SO from 1945 and with the New Philharmonia from 1966, as well as the less successful LPO recording from 1978 (when Boult was 89). This last performance lacks the drive of 1945 and the sweep of 1966. To me, it sounds tired. I like Simpson's little-known Symphony No. 1 and Parry's Symphony No. 5. The discs of marches reveal a lot of swagger and verve, and are quite enjoyable. I don't find the performances of Tchaikovsky and other Russian and miscellaneous works very successful; workmanlike but uninspired (or even uninvolved). The previous Boult compendium, Bach to Wagner, is a real gem and shouldn't be missed. This one doesn't come close to matching it." Report Abuse
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