HD-Vinyl 24/96 (EMI/Angel) Sir Edward Elgar – Violin Concerto (Menuhin/Boult)

Menuhin’s actual violin timbre is uniquely soulful and produces for me a sense of longing and possible regret for times past which seems to perfectly match with so much of Elgar’s musical psyche.

# Composer: Sir Edward Elgar
# Performer: Yehudi Menuhin
# Orchestra: New Philarmonia Orchestra
# Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult
# Vinyl (1966)

# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac (tracks)
# Label: EMI/Angel
# DR-Analysis: DR 12
# Size: 991 MB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

Boult, as conductor, produces the perfect foil to this, with objective imperious orchestral support which, together with Menuhin’s deeply emotional playing, adds up to a very powerful and satisfying whole.

I have been coasting through various modern readings of the Elgar Cto., a work that was closely associated with Yehudi Menuhin, born in 1916, after he recorded it as a teenager in 1932 under the composer. I kept wondering if my memories of his eloquence were tinged with nostalgia, because even in the most expert hands I couldn’t recapture the magic of this sprawling Edwardian masterpiece, enrobed as it is in imperial grandness and Victorian high seriousness. But no, here is a live reading with Boult dating from 1965, when the violinist was almost fifty, his technical command considerably marred, and every note is inspired. I count Menuhin as one of a handful of soloists who could recreate music as if the composer spoke through them, and as true as that was in his performances of Beethoven and Brahms with Furtwangler just after the war, it’s just as present here twenty years later.

Boult adopts a grand, measured pace in the first movement, but what really counts is his bold, heroic approach to the orchestral part — I’ve never heard anything close to its equal. The Elgar Cto. is as symphonically ambitious as the Brahms, yet to be frank, a series of dull conductors has stripped away that side of the score; Boult fully restores it. Suddenly there’s a line instead of wandering gestures. Vernon Handley and Simon Rattle, highly commended for their accompaniment in Nigel Kennedy’s two recordings, fall considerably behind. In the Adagio the orchestra steps back from the solo violin, and here Menuhin plays with what I would call poignant strength. For some peculiar reason he sounds further back than in the first movement, however. The finale begins with skittering passage work that gets a bit thin in the stratosphere as played by Menuhin, even at Boult’s easy pacing, but their musicianship never falters — it’s touching to hear how a great performer can compensate for weakness so beautifully. The wandering melancholy of this movement always loses me, to be frank. Menuhin’s enthusiasm amounts to the kind of passionate advocacy that it needs, even if his intonation and double stops are sometimes suspect. It’s a case of spirit triumphant.

Analyzed folder: /96kEdEl_ViCo_Men/96k Elgar – Violin Concerto – Menhuin
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR10        -2.10 dB     -17.52 dB     A1 Elgar ‎- Violin Concerto In B Minor Op. 61 – 1, Allegro.wav
DR13        -2.04 dB     -21.46 dB     A2 Elgar ‎- Violin Concerto In B Minor Op. 61 – 2, Andante.wav
DR11        -1.28 dB     -18.02 dB     B Elgar ‎- Violin Concerto In B Minor Op. 61 – 3, Allegro Molto.wav
Number of files:    3
Official DR value:    DR12


  • Composed By – Sir Edward Elgar
  • Conductor – Sir Adrian Boult
  • Engineer – Neville Boyling
  • Orchestra – New Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Producer – Peter Andry
  • Violin – Yehudi Menuhin

Mastered at Abbey Road Studios, London.
Original Recording 1966 by EMI Records Ltd.
This recording was first released to celebrate Yehudi Menuhin’s 50th birthday in 1966.

Ripping Infos

  • RCM: Okki Nokki
  • TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
  • Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
  • Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
  • ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
  • Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
  • Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
  • Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
  • Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
  • Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Light de-Clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising

If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.

  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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13 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/96 (EMI/Angel) Sir Edward Elgar – Violin Concerto (Menuhin/Boult)

  1. Very interesting. My favorite version has always been the young Menuhin with Sir Elgar himself but the sound is only what you can expect from a performance recorded in the thirties. So, looking forward to listening to this later recording. Thanks

  2. I’ve been told to avoid all EMI North American Pressings (Angels), with the one important exception of those LPs that are from digital recordings. The reason is that the Angels are said to used inferior (regenerated) mastering tapes and mastering equipment, and inferior, noisy vinyl.
    But I must say I do find the sound of this one quite good. Menuhin and Boult form a fine team and play with great spirit this so touching (and so British) music. Thank you again.

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