Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wartime Adrian Boult and J B Priestly

Some extraordinary footage from 1944 here. Priestly was a famous socialist writer, a bit like the Studs Terkel of Wartime England. Frankly he's only known to me because of the love he is always reported to have of classical music. The London Philharmonic has been in grave danger for most of its existence but this is something apart. Boult was always an underrated conductor but this shows his rather extraordinary conducting technique before his dotage. Boult was a consumate professional and even if his work never had the fantasy of the other two B's of British conducting: Beecham and Barbirolli - he was a first class musician who knew his craft as few did. And just in case people think of Boult as a sclerotic old man, click below.

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