Elgar: Dream of Gerontius / Boult, Baker, Pears, Shirley-Quirk, London Philharmonic [DVD]
Sir Adrian Boult was a supreme interpreter of Elgar’s music, winning accolades and awards for performances and recordings. Boult championed his music throughout his conducting life following the composer’s prophetic words in a letter to Boult in 1920: “I feel that my reputation in the future is safe in your hands.” This release represents the only existing film of Boult conducting The Dream of Gerontius filmed in Canterbury Cathedral in 1968. This performance features a stellar cast of soloists: Dame Janet Baker, a leading interpreter of The Angel in The Dream of Gerontius, who recorded the role twice, John Shirley Quirk who, with Boult, recorded a definitive interpretation of Peter in The Kingdom, and Peter Pears, who recorded the work in 1972 under the direction of his close friend Benjamin Britten. This film uses the original BBC master which is far superior to the poor copies which have been in circulation over the years. This was the first classical music production filmed in color, for which Brian Large had secured eight out of the nine color TV cameras existing in the UK at that time. The film also includes a one hour documentary on Sir Adrian Boult as a bonus. The film was originally produced in 1989 to celebrate Sir Adrian Boult’s 100th anniversary.
Catalog Number: ICAD5140
Label: ICA Classics
Composer: Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Philharmonic Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Performer: Dame Janet Baker, John Shirley-Quirk, Peter Pears