BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E flat, Op. 55 "Eroica." Coriolan Overture, Op. 63.
Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra of London/Sir Adrian Boult, cond.
SILVERLINE DVD AUDIO 288254-9 (5.1 channel) TT: 54:05

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67. Leonore Overture No. 3 in C, Op. 72.
Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of London/Sir Adrian Boult, cond.
SILVERLINE DVD AUDIO 288253-9 (5.1 channel) TT: 45:00

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 "Pastorale." Fidelio Overture, Op. 72.
Philharmonic Symphony Orcherstra of London/Sir Adrian Boult, cond.
SILVERLINE DVD AUDIO 288264-9 (5.1 channel) TT: 44:21

BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73. Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90.
Utah Symphony Orch/Maurice Abravanel, cond.
SILVERLINE DVD AUDIO 288243-9 (5.l channel) TT: 67:11

One usually doesn't think of Sir Adrian Boult as a conductor of Beethoven, but he offers impressive accounts of the three symphonies and overtures listed here. The "Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra of London," actually the London Philharmonic plus other selected British players and, aside from a few slightly untidy episodes, they play superbly. Although no dates are given, these performances were recorded in June 1957 for Vanguard in Walthamstow Town Hall in England. . An informed contact advises these actually were recorded in stereo, not in four-track. Silverline has done a excellent job of simulating surround sound, with center and low-frequency channels. The overall sound picture is splendid—a large orchestra playing in a fine hall. Prominence of French horns suggests spot-miking—it is effective. The only problem with these disks is length. DVD audiodisks can contain up to 90 minutes of 5.1 programming information at 96 k. 24 bit. All three of these Silverline releases have limited playing time; all could have been accommodated on two disks—or on three which also could have included the other Beethoven Boult recorded: Symphony No. 7 and Egmont Overture.

Abravanel's disk, part of his Brahms cycle with the Utah Symphony, was recorded in the Mormon Tabernacle in May 1976, and is more generous in playing time. These sturdy, well-played performances have been beautifully recorded, with warmth and presence. Again we have 5.1 sound created by Silverline's engineers from the four-track originals. Recommended.

R.E.B. (September 2004)