Right symphony - wrong studio

So Abbey Road studios are not for sale. EMI's owners say there will be a 'revitalisation project' instead. Just like the record label I guess. But the myth continue to grow. Doug Ramsey, a writer I admire and who invariably gets his facts right, tells us:
Sir John Barbirolli conducted the premiere performance of Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 5 at Abbey Road.
In fact Ralph Vaughan Williams himself conducted the premiere performance of his Fifth Symphony at a Promenade Concert on 24 June, 1943 in the Royal Albert Hall. Sir John Barbirolli's classic EMI recording of RVW's Fifth, one of the great achievements of the gramophone capturing one of the great achievements of twentieth century symphonic writing, also happened elsewhere. It was made in May 1962 in the Kingsway Hall.

My header photo shows Glorious John in the Kingsway Hall control room marking his score at the final climax of the Passacaglia of the symphony during the sessions. Searches indicate that his account of the symphony has been deleted by EMI (not so, see comments below): is it just Abbey Road that is at risk? And talking of risk, read about what happened to the Kingsway Hall.

Header photo by Godfrey MacDominic comes from the booklet of EMI's now apparently deleted CD transfer of Sir John Barbirolli conducting VW 5 coupled with Bax's Tintagel. If you ever find a copy don't hesitate. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


Pliable said…
It seems I am wrong and Sir John Barbirolli's recording of RVW 5 is still available from EMI, both as part of a 10 CD box and as a single CD.



Many thanks to the ever vigilant Keith Hobday from Prelude Records who never stops working, even on a Sunday.

Pliable said…
Following the link above this newly released 10 CD box of Sir John Barbirolli's 'Great EMI Recordings' has to be an unmissable bargain at £17.98 from amazon.co.uk -

Pliable said…
Interesting that within just 12 hours of adding the comments above the EMI Barbirolli 10 CD box went out of stock at amazon.co.uk.

But of course this blog is just a lone voice ....
John said…
The track listing for the Barbirolli set is here: http://www.emiclassics.com/releasetracklisting.php?rid=49585

Recent popular posts

Does it have integrity and relevance?

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

Why new audiences are deaf to classical music

Colin McPhee - East collides with West

Classical music has many Buddhist tendencies

Vonnegut gets his Dresden facts wrong

Master musician who experienced the pain of genius

In search of 'le point vierge'

Elgar and the occult

If classical music is not live it is dead