SIR ADRIAN BOULT CONDUCTS BRAHMS & MENDELSSOHN
Vintage Boult performances recorded at the Proms. The Brahms has tremendous forward momentum, while the Mendelssohn exudes virtuosity.
Sir Adrian Boult conducts Brahms & Mendelssohn
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 'Italian'
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult
Just prior to the Second World War, Sir Adrian Boult (1889–1983) single-handedly built the BBC Symphony Orchestra into a world-renowned ensemble that attracted such artists as Arturo Toscanini, Serge Koussevitzky and Bruno Walter to conduct it. After retiring from the BBCSO in 1950, Boult became chief conductor of the London Philharmonic until 1957. He continued to guest conduct and record prolifically until 1978 and enjoyed an ‘Indian summer’ in the studio with both English music (Vaughan Williams and Elgar) and nineteenth-century German repertoire (Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert and Wagner). His early studies at the Leipzig Conservatory with Max Reger and with the charismatic conductor Arthur Nikisch, who knew Brahms, gave Boult a unique understanding of this composer.
Boult’s period in Leipzig also brought him in touch with the music of Mendelssohn, who had founded the Conservatory as well as being appointed as conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
The live 1975 Proms performance of Brahms’s Symphony No.4 has never been issued before. The live account is more electrifying than the studio recording made in 1972. It has been recorded in stereo and fully captures the ‘Indian summer’ that Boult enjoyed at the Proms and in the studio with EMI at the time.
The Mendelssohn Symphony No.4 was recorded live in stereo and has never been issued before. It is a comparative rarity in that Boult’s only other recorded performances were in 1966 (unissued on CD) and in 1954 in mono.