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hollowman's picture
Last seen: 1 day 23 hours ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:59pm
Wanted: Walton "Battle in the Air" BBC Proms 2007 (any format)

A bit off-topic, and I've posted this request on other forums -- w/o luck! -- so I'm posting it here (out of desperation!) ...

This is the best version of Walton's 'Battle in the Air' (BBC Proms 2007) I've heard, and if one could obtain 16/44.1 or better, it would make great demo track (a bit like the Tony Faulkner-engineered Samuel Barber Symphony #2 on Naxos).

YouTube link:

From "The Battle of Britain" (1969)
I think I've heard almost all versions, including ... orig. 1969 M. Arnold-conducted score (2nd best, but see comments below); Chandos (Neville Marriner, AoSMitF, 1990; So-so perf.); EMI (Carl Davis, 1987. AWFUL perf.!)

But this one from BBC Proms 2007 blew me away: Very tight, dynamic, and CONTROLLED performance. Conductor John Wilson (who, importantly and from the start, appears to be very much INTO this piece) directs with an almost mechanical precision, and his tightly-coupled orchestral "gears" (indiv. players/instrument sections) respond very effectively. The performance is fast-paced but never rushed. "Rushed" with what I might call "asymmetric tempo/meter" is how I'd describe Arnold's orig. 1969 performance (but he may have HAD to do this -- i.e., sacrifice pace and flow performance, by compressing or stretching tempo/meter -- to fit film edits/cues).

The YouTube version's sound quality is decent (and hints at what full-rez may be capable of!!), but, alas, not in stereo and image is cropped from 16x9 to 4:3.

Anyone know which audio format/rez BBC TV broadcasts -- and specifically classical/orch. concerts -- are RECORDED at? This one was at Royal Albert Hall, so perhaps their "in-house" recording system was used, or maybe it was contracted out?

Can't find the 2007 Proms on DVD or CD (source, anyone?). I would LOVE to have a higher-quality version -- video, audio-only, whatever. Please reply in-thread or we can communicate off-list. Thx!

Refs/ Links:
BBC Proms page (2007 program line-up):

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