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LONDON PHILHARMONIC: 1956 Nixa-Westminster Stereo Recordings, Vol. 1

LONDON PHILHARMONIC: 1956 Nixa-Westminster Stereo Recordings, Vol. 1

The Classical Shop
release date: April 2014

Originally recorded in 2014


London Philharmonic Orchestra


Adrian Boult


Garsington Opera Orchestra


Adrian Boult



Walhtamstow Assembly Hall, London


Record Label
First Hand Records


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 228:22
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LONDON PHILHARMONIC: 1956 Nixa-Westminster Stereo Recordings, Vol. 1




Symphony No. 1


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1 I. Allegro assai 14:05
2 II. Presto con malizia 06:27
3 III. Andante con malinconia 09:44
4 IV. Maestoso: Allegro brioso ed ardentemente 13:01
 Garsington Opera Orchestra Orchestra



Falstaff, Op. 68

5 Falstaff and Prince Hal 03:17
6 Eastcheap. The Robbery at Gadshill. The Boar's Head Again. Revelry and Sleep 12:39
7 Dream Interlude 02:23
8 Falstaff's March. The Return through Gloucestershire. The New King and the Hurried Ride to London. 04:02
9 Interlude: In Shallow's Orchard 02:42
10 King Henry V's Progress: The Repudiation of Falstaff and His Death 08:44
 Garsington Opera Orchestra Orchestra

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Symphony No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 63

1 I. Allegro vivace e nobilmente 16:50
2 II. Larghetto 14:28
3 III. Rondo 08:05
4 IV. Moderato e maestoso 13:09
 Garsington Opera Orchestra Orchestra

Cockaigne, Op. 40, "In London Town"

 Garsington Opera Orchestra Orchestra



Soirees musicales, Op. 9

6 I. March 01:27
7 II. Canzonetta 02:29
8 III. Tirolese 02:10
9 IV. Bolero 01:50
10 V. Tarantella 02:03
 Garsington Opera Orchestra Orchestra

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The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34

1 Spoken Introduction 00:47
2 Theme A: Allegro maestoso e largamente 00:23
3 Woodwind variations 00:24
4 Brass variations 00:20
5 String variations 00:22
6 Percussion variations 00:25
7 Full orchestra 00:18
8 Variation 1: Flute, Piccolo 00:33
9 Variation 2: Oboes 00:51
10 Variation 3: Clarinets 00:44
11 Variation 4: Bassoons 00:51
12 Variation 5: Violins 00:49
13 Variation 6: Violas 01:08
14 Variation 7: Cellos 01:24
15 Variation 8: Basses 01:02
16 Variation 9: Harp 00:57
17 Variation 10: Horns 01:00
18 Variation 11: Trumpets 00:31
19 Variation 12: Trombone, Tuba 01:23
20 Variation 13: Percussion 01:58
21 Fugue 02:15
 Adrian Boult Soloist

Matinees musicales, Op. 24

22 I. March 02:28
23 II. Nocturne 03:19
24 III. Waltz 01:41
25 IV. Pantomime 02:50
26 V. Moto perpetuo (Solfeggi e Gorgheggi) 02:54
 Garsington Opera Orchestra Orchestra

Peter Grimes: 4 Sea Interludes, Op. 33a

27 No. 1. Dawn 04:05
28 No. 2. Sunday Morning 04:00
29 No. 3. Moonlight 04:18
30 No. 4. Storm 04:16
 Garsington Opera Orchestra Orchestra

Peter Grimes: Passacaglia, Op. 33b

 Garsington Opera Orchestra Orchestra

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34

 Garsington Opera Orchestra Orchestra
 Adrian Boult Conductor

This important historical release contains a mouth-watering selection of classic English symphonic repertoire, with many recordings receiving their CD debuts. These 1956 Nixa - Westminster recordings have been remastered at Abbey Road studios from original tapes held in the EMI and Universal archives. The sound quality is quite astonishing, especially considering they were made over fifty years ago. Sir Adrian Boult is featured, conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra in his signature repertoire on recordings that are already considered to be classics. Boult’s interpretation of Elgar’s Symphony No. 2, for example, is arguably second to none, as is his powerful performance of Walton’s first symphony. Boult rarely recorded Britten, so it is of significance that this set includes his complete recordings of the composer’s works (Boult’s own narration of the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is beautifully enunciated). Also included are the two rarely-recorded Britten orchestrations of music by Rossini, joyfully performed and providing light, foot-tapping contrast.


 “This fascinating and rewarding set from First Hand Records has given enormous pleasure, not least due to the excellent presentation, which includes very informative booklet notes (by Colin Anderson and Peter Bromley), colour reproductions of the original LP sleeves and black-and-white ones from the sessions. This set restores some rare Boult’s recordings to the catalogue in as fine a sound as possible, the transfers having been done from the best sources and with great care; what good news it is that a second volume of Boult’s Nixa-Westminster recordings (Schumann and Berlioz) is to be released. This current FHR set is indispensable.” 

 “The recordings have never sounded as good.” 

Rob Barnett -

 “Boult conducts a lively performance [Young Person’s Guide] and his account of the Peter Grimes excerpts has plenty of drama and atmosphere. This thoroughly recommended set is completed by spirited performances of the Rossini arrangements.” 

Classic Review Quarterly

 “This is a splendid set, which all admirers of Sir Adrian Boult should hear. As I said at the start, the sound quality is remarkably good. The presentation is first class, with two good and informative essays and some evocative black and white session photographs. First Hand Records have done us a great service in making these recordings available again and in doing such a fine job over the transfers and presentation. I look forward keenly to the next volume.”  

John Quinn -

“Sound from the Walthamstow Hall is extraordinarily vivid and the Elgar Falstaff and Second Symphony are musically superb.” 

Hi-Fi News

 “An outstanding set from First Hand Records… Some of these performances have been around on CD before, but they have never sounded anything like as resplendent as they do here. For the source material, First Hand Records has gone back to the original Westminster master tapes, and the results are a revelation… his generously filled First Hand set is one of the most musically rewarding historic reissues to have come my way in some while, and it’s supported by very good notes, some unusual session photographs and detailed information about the sources used. A second volume is promised - the Berlioz overtures and Schumann symphonies recorded at the same sessions - and I really can’t wait to hear them. Congratulations are due to all concerned for this magnificent release: no lover of British music or of Boult’s conducting should miss it” 

International Record Review

                  Editor’s Choice – Reissue of the Month

“Followers of British music and its history on disc will inevitably be drawn to a neatly packaged and skillfully transferred three-disc collection on First Hand Records…” 
Gramophone Magazine 


Musica magazine 245 - Italy

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